Bleachers vandalized at Dix Stadium

Doug Gulasy

Kennedy estimates damage between $10,000 and $15,000

DANIEL DOHERTY | SUMMER KENT STATER The Kent State sign behind Sections 10 and 11 was vandalized last night with the words A-K ROWDY!! and SUCKS following the Kent State logo. The estimated damage to the area is between $10,000 and $15,000, said Laing Ken

Credit: DKS Editors

The back side of the student section bleachers at Dix Stadium has been damaged by unknown vandals, said Laing Kennedy, Kent State director of athletics.

Kennedy estimated the damage would cost between $10,000 and $15,000, but that price could increase. The Kent State police are investigating the crime, which likely happened last night.

The wall behind Sections 10 and 11 was vandalized with the words “Missing: Wagon Wheel” and “$5,000,000 Reward” spray-painted in white. A Kent State sign on the wall had the words “A-K ROWDY!!” spray-painted on it, and the word “SUCKS” was painted after the imprinted “Kent State” on the sign.

Kennedy said the vandals also damaged construction barricades at the stadium.

“I’m disappointed, but I do not want this to accelerate bad blood between Kent State and Akron,” Kennedy said.

The vandalism points to a perpetrator or perpetrators from the University of Akron, Kent State’s biggest rival. However, Kennedy emphasized that their identity is unknown, and the vandal or vandals may have no connection to Akron.

The Kent State and Akron football teams play each year for the Wagon Wheel, an actual wheel said to belong to the wagon of John R. Buchtel, who would start what later became the University of Akron. Akron’s student fan section is known as the AK-ROWDIES.

Kennedy warned Kent State fans against retaliation toward Akron.

“We do not want any group representing Kent State to in any way, shape or form do a reprisal toward Akron,” he said.

Kennedy said the Kent State sign would have to be replaced, as could the wall itself if the vandalism cannot be cleaned off. He was unsure how long this process would take.

The vandalism comes as construction crews are nearing completion on the $4 million second-phase renovations of Dix Stadium. The football team’s home opener is Sept. 13 against Delaware State.

“The timing could not be worse,” Kennedy said.

Contact managing editor Doug Gulasy at [email protected].