Almost as soon as local athletes dug their cleats into the new stadium turf in '32, Hinchliffe was declared season home to no less than three professional football teams: the Silk City Bears, the Paterson Giants, and the Paterson Nighthawks. It began hosting the Paterson Panthers in 1934, entering a long and brilliant relationship that-except for a wartime break-lasted into the 1950s.
Many a hometown dream of fame and fortune on the pro gridiron has been nurtured at Hinchliffe. Star footballer Rick Cesares (Eastside) became a running back for the Chicago Bears in the 1950s. Even Larry Doby, the great American League baseball player, was better known among hometowners for his football prowess before he was scouted by Newark Eagles baseball in 1942.