City exploring selling naming rights of stadium

By Wayne Allen

September 26, 2013

Wayne Allen

Common Staff Writer

Members of the Scioto County Health Coalition meet in regular session on Friday morning to talk about a number of upcoming activities and events going.

During the economic development committee meeting is made known the city of Portsmouth is exploring the idea of selling the naming rights to Spartan Stadium.

The concept is being worked on by the cities parks, recreation, buildings and culture committee chaired by Councilman Rich Saddler.

Saddler commented that if the public would be open to the idea and it would create revenue, it could be a good thing.

Councilman Kevin W, Johnson informed the health coalition about the idea and said if successful it could bring new life and purpose to the stadium.

“The concept is to start looking at our stadium as a resource that we can use all of the time,” Johnson said. “Other than the Kentucky Warriors and Notre Dame High School Football, we have not been using it.”

Johnson cited an example for alternative uses, such as a recording space. “Todd Rungren’s Utopia album was recorded at Spartan Stadium. It was an incredible album and if you go online and do the research. The engineers loved it (Spartan Stadium) because, of the acoustics. We never followed up on that, why didn’t we invite other musicians, here to record,” Johnson said.

He said it’s important for people to understand the city is in the beginning stages of discussing this idea.

“The basic concept is to sell the naming rights. We need to get some cash in order to start investing in the stadium and to repair certain things. In the naming rights we, don’t want to lose the word Spartan. So, for example the name could be the AEP Spartan Stadium, the SOMC Spartan Stadium, the KDMC Spartan Stadium or whatever that might be,” Johnson said. “The second step would be to find, identify and contract with an entertainment entrepreneur to book Spartan Stadium for spring, summer and fall events. It would be a great place to have family activities, concerts or you name it.”

Johnson said, the city has plans to eliminate its Charles Street facility and moving the employees that work there to the Adelphia Building.

“That building we have on Charles Street is worthless so, we have a capability of expanding the parking, putting in more green space and making that stadium look good,” Johnson said.

Spartan Stadium has enjoyed a rich history and was once the home of the Portsmouth Spartans.

The first NFL night game came at Universal Stadium, now Spartan Municipal Stadium, against the Brooklyn Dodgers on Sept. 24, 1930.

The Spartans were eventually sold to Detroit and became the Detroit Lions.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-1151, or For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.