The NFL’s $444k investment in Dayton: ‘We’re ecstatic to receive this’

The artificial turf field the NFL is building at Triangle Park in Dayton could cost around $444,000 and will be one of the only turf fields the city owns, officials said.

The city worked closely with the National Football League and the NFL Foundation to make the project a reality, said Joe Parlette, Dayton’s deputy city manager.

The NFL wanted to be certain that Dayton would benefit and really needed the field, said Parlette, adding that he assured the league that the community did not have ample access to an all-season field.

“We’re ecstatic to receive this donation,” Parlette said.

MORE: NFL honoring ‘Dayton’s special history’ with new field, Bengals practice

The field will be installed near the southern tip of Triangle Park, which is currently green space.

Annual flag football activities are held in the area.

Local youth football organizations and other groups will be able to rent the new turf field for affordable prices, Parlette said.

The project hopefully will be completed by the end of June, early July, Parlette said.

The field will be completed in time for the Cincinnati Bengals to hold a practice in late summer.

The Bengals also are expected to be in Dayton in late April for day 3 of the NFL draft.

The plan is for the team to make draft picks from the site of the new field, though technical details have to be worked out, officials said.

MORE: Triangle Park: The birthplace of the NFL in photos

The city has been working on the project for around six to eight months, and a state-of-the-art turf field will be a welcome addition, said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

“Also it’s exciting because the NFL agrees with Dayton that we were the first football game ever in the history of America,” she said. “We created the Wright brothers and the NFL, so that’s two great things for Dayton.”

The city has agreed to improve the parking lot and paths at Triangle Park and construct a fence around the field to manage access to the amenity.

The NFL Foundation this week announced its donation to the city of Dayton as part of its 100-year celebrations.

The first NFL game was played at Triangle Park on Oct. 3, 1920, between the Dayton Triangles and Columbus Panhandles.

Triangle Park has a historic marker next to the baseball diamond commemorating it as the site of the first NFL game. The football field was around the outfield area.

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