By Wayne Allen
October 25, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
According to Oct. 8 minutes of the city of Portsmouth’s Parks, Recreation, Service, Buildings and Cultural Committee, the city will no longer be exploring the idea of selling the naming rights of Spartan Stadium.
The minutes state, “Chairman (Second Ward Councilman Rich) Saddler said after taking a Facebook survey, people did not want to change the name of Spartan Stadium. He (Saddler) also suggested contacting the NFL (National Football League) for some support of the historical stadium.”
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Times, Saddler said the conversation has shifted from naming the stadium to naming features within the facility like the football field.
“We did not have an agreement with all of the committee members on renaming the stadium. There are discussions about naming the field(s) for example the AT&T field at Spartan Municipal Stadium, or something to that effect,” Saddler said. “That’s still being discussed, but as for the naming of the stadium, we would like to keep the same.”
Saddler said he believes if naming rights were to come to fruition, it would bring needed revenue into the stadium for improvements.
“I would like to take this idea a step father and apply it to our (city of Portsmouth) parks. Maybe not renaming the parks but if you have a tennis court in a park, the court could be named the AT&T Tennis Court,” Saddler said. “That business could help maintain that particular part of the park and that would free up funds coming from the general or recreation funds to do other things.”
Saddler believes businesses would be interested in such an idea to help the city to make improvements they would otherwise not be able to do.
While at the meeting, Bill Beaumont, city of Portsmouth Service Director, said the press box needs a new roof and the restrooms need to be updated.
Beaumont pointed out the city has made some structural repairs to the facility over the years.
Spartan Stadium has enjoyed a rich history and was once the home of the NFL’s Portsmouth Spartans. The first National Football League night game came at Universal Stadium, now Spartan Municipal Stadium, against the Brooklyn Dodgers on Sept. 24, 1930.
The Spartans eventually moved to Detroit and became the Detroit Lions.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.