Winners for the State Farm Neighborhood Assist grants were announced on Nov. 30. one of which, was the Spartan Municipal Stadium renovation project.
The Spartan Stadium project proposed by Shawnee State University Professor of Sociology, Dr. Sean Dunne, made it in to the top 200 projects during the competitive nation-wide search. From there, the project required voting by members of the community and those passionate about the cause.
After ten days of voting, the Spartan Municipal Stadium remained steady in securing a spot in the Top 40, winning the $25,000 grant.
Built in the 1930’s the stadium played an important role in early National Football League (NFL) history by being one the earliest professional football stadiums built. Eventually, the Portsmouth Spartans left to become the Detroit Lions, leaving the stadium empty. Today, the stadium is utilized for community events and high school sports, it is also the home field for the Portsmouth Warriors semi-pro football league.
“Spartan Stadium is a unique part of Portsmouth’s history,” said local State Farm agent Jeff Smith. “Hopefully, this grant and Shawnee State’s efforts will spur our communities to save this piece of history for the future generations of student athletes who will use it. For the rest of us, it’s a reminder of Portsmouth’s past glory as an NFL city.”
The money for the project will be deposited into an account established at the Scioto Foundation in late January. Dunne hopes to start on the renovations as soon as possible. The first part of the restoration will center around repairing the sprinkler system for the field and repairs to the track itself.
“The overwhelming support by the Portsmouth community for this project demonstrates the importance of the stadium to our community,” said Dunne. “It has energized discussions of continued improvements to the stadium as a part of Portsmouth’s riverfront development plans. Thanks to all that voted, and thanks to the Southern Ohio Port Authority, Main Street Portsmouth, the Scioto Foundation and everyone at Notre Dame High School and Shawnee State University that helped with the effort.”
For more information about the project, you can follow the “Spartan Municipal Stadium Renovation Project,” on Facebook for updates and photos.
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.