Wednesday, January 11, 2012

This Day in Reds History: Domed Stadium Plan Scratched

The following is an excerpt from a book I highly recommend to any Reds fan entitled Redleg Journal which is co-authored by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder:

January 11th, 1966 - Standard Oil of Ohio, better known as Sohio, bows out of a plan to build a domed stadium at the junction of Cornell and Kenwood Roads in Blue Ash. In a forerunner of corporate-sponsored stadiums that later became the norm, the company planned to call the structure the "Sohio Dome," and hoped the name would spur gasoline sales.

In January 1966, a committee of prominent politicians and businessmen were in the process of deciding where the new stadium for the Reds was to built and how it was to be financed. A decision was needed quickly since the National Football League was slated to designate a new expansion team in mid-February, and a stadium proposal would be necessary to secure a franchise for Cincinnati. Several sites were under consideration for the stadium, but each had problems. Most everyone agreed that the riverfront was the best choice, but Bill DeWitt wasn't one of them. He balked at signing a lease for a downtown stadium, citing potential problems with flooding, parking and traffic. DeWitt wanted the stadium built near the Blue Ash Airport at Plainfield and Cooper Roads, but the city of Blue Ash refused to approve the plan. Other sites considered, but rejected, included the blocks south of Crosley Field, the Maketewah Country Club near the junction of I-75 and the Norwood Lateral, the future site of Kings Island in Mason, Ohio, the mall in front of Union Terminal -- where the 1869 Red Stockings played -- and property across Kemper Road from Tri-County Mall.

For the record, Standard Oil of Ohio (Sohio) was taken over and rebranded by British Petroleum (BP) in 1991.

No comments: