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Baker Field, 1923-1982
The original tract of land on which the Baker Athletic Complex stands was given to Columbia by financier and banker George F. Baker, a close personal friend of Columbia President Nicholas Murray Butler. Baker purchased the land for $700,000 on December 31, 1921. The first stadium at the site, then known as the Columbia Football Stadium at Baker Field, opened in the fall of 1923 with 15,000 seats in temporary stands. Five years later in 1928, the University built the 32,000 wooden-seat stadium that served Columbia fans for 55 years. In that time, Columbia hosted 16 football games with more than 30,000 fans in attendance. The Lions played their 1983 games on neutral or rival fields until the new Lawrence A. Wien Stadium was completed and opened in 1984.