July 8, 1932 - Hinchliffe Stadium opens as a combination athletic facility and a "paying investment" for the working people of industrial Paterson, New Jersey. The largest event of its kind in the Bicentennial anniversary of George Washington's birth year in New Jersey was the great Washington Pageant held on the evenings of July 8th, 9th, and 11th, 1932, in the new Stadium at Passaic Falls, Paterson (later called the Hinchcliffe Stadium).
On June 9, 1937, The rodeo came to town to enteratin the locals. Twenty-three World Series Rodeo events were held along with numerous exhibitions and cowboys stunts. Texan rancher, Colonel Jim Eskew, shipped 150 head of livestock from Texas for the week-long event. Eskew alsotook special pride in his bucking horses and wild steer.
Performers loved Hinchliffe crowds and they came out to please them. Abbott & Costello headlined in 1941 with boxers Benny Leonard and Abe Greene. The duo played here again in 1944 and 1947, among other appearances. Lou Costello, a Paterson native whose films never failed to invoke the name of his hometown (and who performed his famous "Who's on First?" skit standing with Bud in front of a scrim of the "Paterson Silk Sox"), was a stadium devotee and a great crowd pleaser.
Other stars, some doing wartime Victory Bond benefits , included Dick Jurgens (1942) and Ted Huesing (1943), Huesing opening to a crowd of 5000. That same year Henny Youngman delivered "139 one-liner 'knock-outs' to a capacity crowd." In 1947 the Andrews Sisters sang to no less than 7000 people!
In 1952, Hinchliffe hosted All-Star Wrestling, featuring Georgeous George vs. Gene Stanlee.
On July 20, 1971, 4,000 fans waited into the early morning hours to see Sly and the Family Stone at Hinchliffe. Sly Stone refused to leave his hotel unitil his concert clothing arrived from the airport. Many concert goers demanded refunds due to the long wait for the concert headliner.
The Great Falls Festivals of the early '70s, sparked by a spirit of preservation, urban revival, and nostalgia, briefly checked this drift. Among the great featured events held in the stadium during this era was one of Duke Ellington's last concerts in 1971.
In 1988, Hinchliffe Stadium became the home of the New Jersey Eagles of the American Soccer League, and the Eagles called the stadium home for two seasons.
In celebration of the United States Bicentennial, The Leslie West Band and Tower of Power headlined an all-day concert on June 27, 1976 at Hinchliffe Stadium. Tickets for the "Great Falls Bicentennial Celebration" cost $6.50.
In October of 2015, the Mexican Folklore Dance Society turned half of the stadium into a rodeo arena. The organizers created a dirt rodeo ring in the center of the stadium with large bleachers and chairs circling the makeshift bull riding arena.
May 19, 2023: Hinchliffe Stadium reopens after a $100 million renovation. The Fronteir League's New Jersey Jackals will call Hinchliffe "home" along with Paterson School District sports teams.