Account of First Night Football Game in Spartan Municipal Stadium, Portsmouth, Ohio (24 September 1930).


This file appears in: Spartan Municipal Stadium & NFL Football in Portsmouth, Ohio
Account of First Night Football Game in Spartan Municipal Stadium, Portsmouth, Ohio (24 September 1930).

Portsmouth may not have held the first night football game in NFL history, but it did pioneer the use of electric lights in the region.  Here the Portsmouth Times reports on the debut of night football in Spartan Municipal Stadium on 24 September 1930.

TRANSCRIPTION

Record Crowd Puts Approval on Night Game. Reception Accorded Grid Tilt Under Floodlights Means It is Fixture Here.  Skepticism Vanishes.  Many Visitors from Tri-State Get First View of Local Stadium

Night football is a success. Sixty-five hundred shouting, raving fans so stamped it unequivocally after seeing the Spartans and Brooklyn elevens in action at Universal Stadium Wednesday night.


Light As Day

As light as day and not a shadow of any kind on the greensward the players cavorted over it with boyish-like enthusiasm.  The plays were as easily followed as in the day time, the white ball was easy to see and the new lighting system worked perfectly.  There was not a single hitch of any kind to mar the success of one of the greatest night games in the history of football.  The vast throng followed the players so easily that many of them readily admitted that the they would just as soon see a night game as one in which Old Sol turns on his floodlights.

Marvelous Scene

The hundreds of visitors, who flocked to the stadium from all parts of Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky were awe-stricken when the lights were first turned on.  It was a marvelous scene, one they could dream about.  ‘I have heard a lot about night football and after seeing this game I am sure it is here to stay’ said one of the leading citizens of Ironton.  ‘The scene is perfect.  It is indeed a rare picture.  I have always said the first city in the Ohio valley to inaugurate night football will derive untold publicity from it,’ thus spoke Charlton (Shorty) Davies, famous Ironton coach and gridiron strategist.  And so it was all along the line last night.  Night football has come to stay, at least in Portsmouth.

Cast Aside Skepticism

Those skeptically-inclined soon waived aside their skepticism last night and placed their stamp of approval on nocturnal grid encounters.  The many distinguished visitors were unstinted in praising the completeness of the new playing field, the remarkable work of the Spartans, the coaching and team handling of Harold Griffen and the public spiritedness and aggressiveness of Harry Snyder, builder of the stadium.

Band Makes Hit

And while the home folk and the visitors were revealing in the glistening rays of the new lighting system, a smashing line thrust by the incomparable Glassgow, the end running of that scintillating star Chuck Bennett and the all round playing of Lumpkin, they did not hesitate to praise Leader Schnabl and the Portsmouth High School band.  They played before the game started and presented an inspiring picture as they marched down the middle of the field beneath rays of the lofty artificial lights.  Between halves the band also gave a parade and when it massed in front of the big stand and reeled off its school theme song everybody stood and cheered the band and its capable leader.  Attired in their summer garb of dark coats and white trousers the boys and girls made a splendid impression and did their bit to putting over the first night football in this section with the proverbial bang.


This file appears in: Spartan Municipal Stadium & NFL Football in Portsmouth, Ohio