LIMA — Fans of Lima high school football will not be able to watch games at Spartan Stadium for free from Lima Stadium Park.
Lima Parks and Recreation Director Ric Stolly announced Wednesday that the park will be closed to the public on Friday and Saturday nights for football games.
“One of the things that we’re doing through our agreement with Lima City Schools is that we’re working out events at Lima Stadium Park that coincide with the use of Spartan Stadium,” he said. “Last week was the kickoff of football season for high school, so per our agreement with them, the park is going to be closed on those Friday and Saturday nights when the stadium is in use for obvious reasons. We’re trying to direct activities into the stadium.”
The closures will take place at 3 p.m. on game nights Fridays and Saturdays, according to Stolly, as well as on Sundays when midget football games are taking place.
Lima Superintendent Jill Ackerman said that the reason for the closures can be summed up in two primary concerns, the first one being safety.
“We do have a lot of security within the stadium itself, but we would not be able to man the park,” she said. “We don’t have the resources to do that.”
The second reason is that ticket sales can help continue to fund high school athletic programs.
“When the [Ohio High School Athletic Association] holds tournament games at Spartan Stadium, they would frown upon the park being open and people being able to watch those games at no cost,” Ackerman said. “We have a tremendous amount of seating in the stadium. We have a phenomenal amount of seats since it was built to accommodate tournaments, so there’s always a place to sit.”
Lima Senior will host Eastmoor Academy at 7 p.m. Friday at Spartan Stadium. Tickets can be purchased from the school in advance for $4 for students and $6 for adults. Tickets will be sold at the gate for $7.