Deteriorating stadium forces NKY high-school football team to relocate

Newport High School’s stadium is nearly 90 years old—and currently it’s not safe enough to host games.
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 9:44 PM EDT
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NEWPORT, Ky. (WXIX) - High-school football is underway, but one team won’t get to play on their historic home field due to the condition of the stands.

Newport High School’s turf field was updated in 2015 after flooding. Despite that, the turf won’t get any play in 2022 because the stadium seats are dilapidated.

“With all the cracks and everything we didn’t feel it was safe to let people in the stands,” said Newport Independent Schools Superintendent Tony Watts.

The Newport Wildcats will play this year, including Thursday night’s game, at Thomas More University.

The stadium was built in the 1930s as part of the Works Project Administration during the Great Depression.

Ninety years later, the stadium is showing its age.

Watts says weather damage has caused the stadium’s condition to worsen every year, despite repair efforts. Now, the concrete is cracked and in need of some major work.

The district has a team coming in September to assess options, including a complete teardown. The district hopes to have all the assessments done by October.

Newport Middle School Head Football Coach Juan McDay played on the field when he was in school.

“When I walk through the locker room, still to this day, I walk by my old locker all the time, just to smell that locker room smell,” McDay said.

McDay hopes the eventual solution will preserve the history of the stadium as much as possible.

“It brings back so many different memories, and it’s kind of unexplainable.”

The Wildcats’ next game is Aug. 25 at Bishop Brossart.

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