Dayton has hired a national consulting firm that city officials say specializes in cultural and historic preservation to conduct testing at the site of a proposed National Football League-funded field.
The recently announced NFL project at Triangle Park has been on hold for more than a week after some Native American groups warned the park is home to Native burial remains.
The National Football League announced it would sponsor construction of a new professional-quality turf football field at Triangle Park as part of the league’s centennial season.
The field would commemorate Dayton’s role in the NFL’s inaugural season 100 years ago: Triangle Park is known as the site of the first official NFL game between the Dayton Triangles and the Columbus Panhandles on Oct. 3, 1920.
Dayton was set to announce a 6th round Cincinnati Bengals Draft pick event with Mayor Nan Whaley April 27. And Construction was originally expected to begin on the new field at the end of April.
Now, city officials say the outside consultant is using non-invasive ground penetrating radar technology to search for burial remains at the site.
Some Native American advocates told WYSO they questioned how far the city is willing to go, and how long it would put the NFL project on hold to support Native rights.
A spokesperson for the Ohio Historic Preservation Office says it has no formal documentation about what remains may exist underground at Triangle Park.
The agency is advising the city of Dayton and providing guidance on best preservation practices, an arrangement typically triggered when archaeological discoveries are made on public land.
The agency is also expected to conduct a separate site assessment Friday.
Dayton officials say they’ll make the results of the archaeological tests public once they’re complete.
City officials declined to provide the name of the consulting firm.