NFL Draft Day Family Football Experience
Kickoff Event for the NFL's 100th Year Celebration
By Marc Katz
Billed as a kickoff event for the NFL’s 100th year celebration, the Draft Day Family Football Experience at Triangle Park was a huge success and, as Dave Williamson – one of the event’s organizers – said, was “probably the first time in 90 years the NFL has been back here.”
That may be the case as the Triangles are credited with hosting the first NFL game
on Oct. 3, 1920, across the parking lot from where the Draft Day event was held. The team played its last NFL game there in
1929. Later, the area was remade into a baseball field.
Williamson said the NFL was impressed that the area was not given over to a mall or housing project and continues to be used for athletics.
Dayton native Keith Byars, an All-State running back at Roth High School, an All-America at Ohio State and a long-time pro, attended. He said he never played football at what is now called Howell Field, but played baseball there.
More than 7,000 free tickets (at least half of them used) were distributed for the event, which featured Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley announcing a Bengals’ sixth-round draft choice on national television, and a brief history lesson from Brady Kress, president and CEO of Dayton History, which operates Carillon Park.
Kress is working on a project that will culminate with a Dayton Area Sports History museum at Carillon Park. As a centerpiece for that project, the park is refurbishing one of the original 1920 locker rooms, moved to the park a few years ago.
Watch this space for further community events and notices.