Tank Stadium needs upgrade

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 12, 2008

The city of Ironton has a rich industrial background, a blue collar town with a strong labor history and full of people who take pride in that heritage.

But Ironton is also known for something else.


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Many people know the story of the semi-professional Ironton Tanks, who compiled a record of 88-17-15 over 12 seasons from 1919-1930. The Tanks collected victories over the NFL’s Chicago Bears and New York Giants in 1930.

A historical marker rests on the grounds at Tank Stadium, a reminder to those who come there that Ironton’s football roots run deep. Now home to the Ironton High School football team, the stadium is in need of a little sprucing up.

Around the state of Ohio, in part because of the remarkable coaching record of Bob Lutz, Ironton is a known quantity. The Fighting Tigers’ brand of football continues to put the city on the map and its reputation speaks for itself.

People here are as proud of its football history as they are of the iron history.

That’s why some citizens formed Tank Memorial Stadium Fund, Inc., a group designed to raise funds to make upgrades and renovations to the stadium, one of the last old-style covered stadiums used by a high school team.

Ironton Athletic Director Mark Vass said the amount of donations will determine how much can be done, but the hope is to add artificial turf, which has an estimated cost of $1 million.

&uot;The ultimate goal is preservation,&uot; Vass said.

The project is a worthwhile one because the stadium is such a touchstone for Ironton citizens and area football fans who can appreciate

the stadium’s history.