Firestone Stadium Complex Restoration
Vision For A Beloved Hometown...
In the mid-1930's, Columbiana High School graduate, Harvey S. Firestone, gave funding to build a park for his hometown with a vision of a new football stadium and field for his alma mater. For nearly 90 years the football stadium inside the Harvey S. Firestone Recreational Park has been home to countless Clipper home games. Now as the 2023 football season approaches, it is clear that the stadium has see better days. In 2020, the Columbiana Exempted School District took over responsibility of the stadium from the city, with plans to renew the aging complex. To that end, the Columbiana Athletic Boosters are spearheading a multi-million-dollar capital project to replace the stadium, and refurbish the remaining structures and field to continue the legacy of Clipper football that Harvey Firestone envisioned. Many remember Dick Fisher, an exceptional athlete, who played football and other sports for Columbiana High School. The Bradford A. and Patricia Tingle Foundation, and the Dick Fisher Family, have pledged a $300,000 "matched" donation to help launch the fundraising effort. To celebrate its sports legacy, the Tingle Foundation and Fisher Family request the stadium be called the "Dick 'Sonny' Fisher Stadium."
Your Support Is Crucial To Meeting Our Goal...
The cost of the new stadium is $1.4 million dollars and has been identified as Phase 1 of the overall project. Plans are to demolish the crumbling structure, build a new concrete shell similiar to the historic one built in 1936, and install enclosed aluminum stands which will offer reserved seating and ADA-accessibility. The stands will be built taller in an effort to minimize the height difference between them and the press boc that currently exists. The entire project cost, which includes two additional phases to be included at a later time, includes a new multi-sport field surface, new pedestrian surfaces, a band shell, updated restrooms and a new concession stand. The total of all projects is estimated at $3.2 million dollars. Along with football, the new complex is expected to be used by all Clipper groups including band, soccer, baseball and softball, junior teams, and for many other school sponsored events. Your generous gift will not only pay tribute to the stadium's history and its legacy of Clipper pride, but will help preserve athleticism for all sports teams, cheerleaders, band members, and fans of current and future generations, in a complex transformed for the 21st Century.
History Of The Red And White...
Columbiana football was born in 1916, when the "Red and White" as they were known, completed a 2-3 season under Head Coach and School Principal Byron McCready. The team originally practiced and played its games on East Park Avenue across the street from the current stadium. Completed in 1936 by the WPA (Works Project Administration) under President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal," the stadium was constructed entirely of stamped concrete. In its era and even today, it is one of very few outdoor stadiums not on a high-school campus in Ohio. Through it's 86 year existence the stadium and field have undergone many changes. In the 1950s freestanding locker rooms replaced the cramped locker rooms that were under each end of the stadium. During this time field lighting was added and Friday Night Football was born. The 1970s saw more improvements as the field received a sprinkler system, new playing surface, and new aluminum seating. Many outstanding athletes have graced the field over the years, but most notable was Dick Fisher "The Columbiana Clipper." After his Columbiana High School football carerr, he went on to excel as a fullback at Ohio State University from 1939 to 1941. During his time at OSU, play-by-play announcers would say "There goes the Columbiana Clipper."which is how Columbiana School got it's Clipper name!
Remove old structure and replace with new concrete and aluminum structure
Re-face press box to match remodeled park structures
Install proper drainage in and around both structures
Field and Surrounding Surfaces
Replace field with multi-sport playing surface
Replace track with paved walking surface
Install field fencing for spectator and player safety
Install proper drainage in and around field and surrounding surfaces
Phase III & IV
Buildings & Structures
Re-face locker and weight rooms to match remodeled park structures
Convert existing concession stand to restrooms
Build new dedicated concession stand
Update lighting and sound
Build new band shelter
Programmable "Full Matrix" display boards and banners for advertisements