Cooper Stadium

Columbus, Ohio | C.1931

Photo Credit: Jessica Relyea

Built during baseball’s golden era, Cooper Stadium has been home to a slew of sports teams. In 1931, it was first known as the home of the Columbus Red Birds and dubbed Red Bird Stadium. The Stadium was built using the same blueprints for the Red Wing Stadium in Rochester, New York, used by the Cardinals-owned team, the Rochester Red Wings. The Negro league’s Columbus Blue Birds also utilized the the stadium in the early 1930’s.

Soon, the Red Birds moved out and the Ottawa Athletics moved in. The stadium became known as the Jets Stadium as the team adopted the name the Columbus Jets. It wasn’t long before the Jets would move on and another team took up the dugout. In 1977, the Columbus Clippers moved in, and during this time, it was renamed for Harold Cooper, the baseball executive who brought the Jets to Columbus.

The Stadium’s rotating tenant roster went on to include football and soccer teams. Roller derbies, pro wrestling, and even concerts were held there and Columbus saw the likes of musical acts like Aerosmith, Rush, and Bob Dylan. Despite its popularity and diverse offerings, the Stadium has remained undeveloped since the Clippers moved out.

Today, Cooper Stadium has been reduced to weeds. Only a concrete outline of the baseball park remains with the third base side bleachers still intact. The owners of the Stadium are organizing proposals to convert the land into office space, apartments, a racetrack, or an automotive research center. No matter the way forward, the history remains.

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