Cooper Stadium is a baseball stadium in Columbus, Ohio and was the home of the minor league Columbus Clippers from 1977 to 2008. Cooper Stadium has had several names over the years, including Red Bird Stadium, Jets Stadium and Franklin County Stadium, but in 1984 the stadium was renamed in honor of Harold Cooper, the county commissioner who was responsible for keeping baseball in Columbus in the 1950s. The stadium is owned and operated by the Franklin County, Ohio government. It is located in the section of the city known as Franklinton. Built in 1931 by the St. Louis Cardinals, Red Bird Stadium was constructed using the same blue prints as Red Wing Stadium in Rochester, N.Y. Red Wing Stadium had been built by the Cardinals in 1929. The Cardinals owned both teams when the respective stadiums were built. Cooper Stadium was renovated to its present configuration in 1977 to coincide with the return of minor-league baseball to Columbus after a six year absence. It presently seats 11,000 in a single deck grandstand with an additional 4,000 overflow bleacher seats. Fans would ring cowbells to get Clippers rallies started.
Over the years, Cooper Stadium has been home to the Columbus Red Birds, a farm team for the St. Louis Cardinals; the Columbus Jets; and, after the renovation was completed, the Columbus Clippers. From 1939 through 1941, Cooper Stadium (then named Red Bird Stadium) was also home to the Columbus Bullies, two time champions of the third American Football League.
The stadium has also hosted a number of other events, such as Roller Derby, music concerts, including Aerosmith, Bob Dylan & Garth Brooks & also hosted evangelist Billy Graham.
The Clippers moved from Cooper Stadium after the 2008 season to a new ballpark, known as Huntington Park, which is located in the Arena District near Nationwide Arena. On September 1, 2008, the final game was played as the Toledo Mud Hens defeated the Columbus Clippers in front of 16,770 fans, the third largest crowd in stadium history.
As of May 1, 2008, a proposal to turn the site of Cooper Stadium into an auto racing facility was being considered, according to local media. This is not a completely new use for the facility, as the parking lot south of the stadium has been used for SCCA, autocross and for motorcycle training.
Cooper Stadium also hosted the OHSAA Ohio high-school boys baseball State Tournament. Rumored plans also include a 22 million dollar overhaul to eventually become the OHSAA stadium for most outdoor events (baseball,football,soccer,lacrosse etc.). This would then make Cooper Stadium a multi-purpose stadium. If, as of June, 2009, the stadium has no purpose, the county will demolish it. A plan to make a museum floated around as well.