Efforts underway to preserve a historic stadium rich in sports history

Time has taken a toll on Spartan Municipal Stadium in Portsmouth, Ohio. (WCHS/WVAH)

A move is on to preserve a historical stadium in Portsmouth, Ohio. Spartan Municipal Stadium was built in the 1930's, and it was once home to what is now the Detroit Lions.

"Water has come down between the concrete there," said Sean Dunne of Shawnee State University. He's leading the effort make sure the historic Spartan Municipal Stadium in Portsmouth doesn't fall into a state of disrepair, because time has taken a toll on the facility.

"Larger things that has to get done are upgrades to the electric, plumbing and concrete," said Dunne.

He and Jacob Smith, one of his students were able to get the stadium placed on the Preservation Ohio Endangered List for this year which will help save the stadium for continued use by the community. Those efforts have also attracted the attention of ESPN.

"This is really the first generation of NFL stadiums. This is where the Portsmouth Stealth played then they moved up to Detroit to become the Detroit Yions.

"You look out on the field you see how important this used to be to this community, and then you can also see the structural damage and the improvements the stadium needs and that is something that really hits home to me being from the area," said Smth.

Being on the Preservation Ohio list is expected to make it easier to get grants to pay for the needed improvements to the stadium, because those improvements are expected to cost about a million dollars. "If we don't act soon, I don't think we will be able to use it anymore. It's in fear of falling apart if we don't get the funding to restore the stadium," said Dunne.

He says he has already approached some NFL teams and the NFL Foundation about helping to renovate and save the stadium.


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