Atwood Stadium

Two Flint area sports halls of fame show support for Atwood Stadium

Kettering University, which purchased the stadium and took over its operations from the city in 2013, is currently fundraising to replace the turf with a safer, more modern field turf.

The Greater Flint Afro-American Sports Hall of Fame and the Greater Flint Sports Hall of Fame each made $500 donations to support replacing the turf at Kettering University’s Atwood Stadium for one simple reason -- ensuring the historic venue gets to serve future athletes as well as it served previous generations of sports stars.

“I believe in leading by example, and I believe it’s important to show the entire community that even though we don’t have the biggest budgets, both Flint sports halls of fame believe it’s important to support what Kettering is doing with Atwood Stadium,” said Norm Bryant, founder of the Greater Flint Afro-American Sports Hall of Fame. “I played here at Atwood in 1953, and we had almost 20,000 people watching that game. Could you imagine a high school kid getting to experience that? I’d love to see kids in Flint get that chance again.”

Kettering University, which purchased the stadium and took over its operations from the city in 2013, is currently fundraising to replace the turf with a safer, more modern field turf. The goal is to get the turf prepared to once again host high school football games starting next fall. The new turf would also be striped for soccer and it would be able to accommodate lacrosse and rugby as well.

(Left to right) Norm Bryant, Bob Burek, John McGarry and Jack Stock.

“Like Norm, I have a long history in the Flint area,” said Bob Burek, president of the Greater Flint Sports Hall of Fame. “I’d love to see Atwood Stadium resurrected to what it was in the 1940s and 1950s. It’s a significant piece of Flint’s history, and with some upgrades, it will be a major part of the city’s future as well.”

Replacing the turf is projected to cost about $750,000. Kettering University, as well as the Friends of Atwood, have already raised more than $300,000 toward that goal, including matching gifts of $100,000 each from the Ruth Mott Foundation and from a private donor wishing to remain anonymous.

“The donations from both the Greater Flint Afro-American Sports Hall of Fame and the Greater Flint Sports Hall of Fame are a great testament to the groundswell of support in the community for Atwood,” said Jack Stock, Kettering University director of external relations. “Kettering’s long-term vision for Atwood is to ensure that it remains a viable community resource for generations to come. The first step is adding a new, modern playing surface to both protect athletes who play there and to make the stadium more versatile and able to host a wide range of sporting events. Thanks to support from many organizations and donors in the community, we’re well on our way to achieving that goal.”

For information about contributing to new turf at Atwood Stadium, contact Jack Stock at jstock@kettering.edu or (810) 762-7873.

The Greater Flint Afro-American Sports Hall of Fame was founded in 1983 to preserve and exhibit the history of former Flint African American professional, college, city, high school and sandlot players and teams from as early as possible to an undetermined date.

The Greater Flint Sports Hall of Fame was created by the Bruin Club of Mott Community College in 1980. For more than 30 years, the Hall of Fame has provided a vehicle for the community to recognize and celebrate the unsurpassed history of athletic achievement and community service that has been a major part of the Flint area.