UPDATE: NFL Foundation Renovates Triangle Park

6/24/19 UPDATE: It was announced on June 17, 2019 that the Cincinnati Bengals are holding their first of 11 training camp sessions at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium on Saturday, July 27.

The remaining 10 sessions will take place in Cincinnati. Gates open at 1:30 p.m. and the practice starts at 2:30. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

“There have always been great Bengals fans in the Dayton area,” said Bengals Executive Vice President Katie Blackburn. “The Bengals are excited to get back to Dayton for a special practice opening the Zac Taylor era, kicking off the 2019 season and recognizing the history of the NFL and the first game played in Dayton at Triangle Park.” 

5/16/19 UPDATE: The City of Dayton and the NFL Foundation are backing out of their plans to add a new turf field to Triangle Park.

The decision was reached due to concerns about a potential Native American burial ground at the site.

Following a radar scanning of the location by the State Historic Preservation Office, a “unique and sizable anomaly” was found in the park’s soil.

“Given the possibility of Native American ancestral artifacts and remains at the site, we determined that it would not be appropriate to construct the field there and instead have engaged with the State Historic Preservation Office about next steps,” city officials say.

City officials and the NFL are weighing their options and brainstorming other ways to celebrate Dayton’s rich history as an original NFL town during the league’s 100th season. A possible option would be the donation of a new turf field at a different location.

Original Article: Triangle Park in Dayton, Ohio, the location of the first National Football League (NFL) game, is getting a facelift.

   Announced on March 26, the NFL Foundation is paying for a new artificial turf field at the park to acknowledge Dayton’s legacy within the league.

   Next year, 2020, will mark the 100th anniversary of the NFL. The league’s first game was played at Triangle Park on Oct. 3, 1920, between the Dayton Triangles and the Columbus Panhandles. The Triangles prevailed 14-0.

   The game’s first touchdown was scored in the third quarter. Lou Partlow, a running back for the Triangles, completed a 7-yard run into the end zone to score the NFL’s first ever touchdown. Guard George “Hobby” Kinderdine followed that up by kicking the first extra point to bring the game to a 7-0 score.

   Later in the fourth quarter, Triangles end Frank Bacon returned a punt and brought the ball 60 yards back into the end zone, assisted by another extra point from Kinderdine.

   The Dayton Triangles earned their name due to a sponsorship from a trio of factories in downtown Dayton.

   These three factories were Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company (DELCO), Dayton Metal Products Company (D.M.P.Co) and Domestic Engineering Company (DECO, later called Delco-Light). All of these were founded by local businessmen Edward Deeds and Charles Kettering.  

   “This is a really special moment for our city,” mentioned Mayor Nan Whaley in a statement. “We’re excited that the NFL is recognizing the places that were there in the very beginning and that they are celebrating Dayton’s special history in paving the way for the league with a donation that will leave a lasting impact in the community.”

   “This is a very significant investment for the community,” Dayton Deputy City Manager Joe Parlette explained. “One thing that the NFL wanted to be certain of is that we were a community that would benefit and actually needed this, and I assured them that we did not have ample access for youth football teams and organizations to an all-season surface.”

   According to Parlette, the new field will be close to the baseball field on a green area formerly used for flag football. It will likely be completed in late June or early July of this year.

   In celebration of the NFL’s centennial, the Cincinnati Bengals have also announced that they will be bringing a preseason practice to the newly renovated field.

   “That tie to Dayton and that piece of history is a nice fit,” mentioned Katie Blackburn, the Bengal’s executive vice president. “We’ve enjoyed going up to Dayton to practice in the past, and we look forward to this visit that is such a special one for us and the league.”

   The city of Dayton is one of eight locations that originally hosted an NFL team but do not currently, and each of these cities will host live telecasts during the NFL Draft of the sixth round picks.

   The NFL Foundation will also be making donations to aid youth football programs in Dayton and the other “original towns”, including Muncie, Ind., Rochester, N.Y. and Chicago, Ill.

   NFL vice president Pete Abitante mentioned during the announcement that each team will host a three day long “fantennial” to celebrate a century of football.

   During the weekend of a home game, Friday will highlight high school football, Saturday will involve fan festivals and Sunday will have the teams showing off their greatest play in franchise history.

 Each play goes into a 32-team bracket to determine the best play in NFL history. The winning play will be revealed the day before Super Bowl LIV.

   According to the Bengal’s official website, the practice will likely occur in late July or early August.

Maxwell Patton

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