Man makes Welcome Stadium feel a bit more welcoming

Hal Bailey has been working with Dayton Public Schools as Welcome Stadium's Caretaker for 18 years. (Photo by: WDTN/Jake Ryle)
Hal Bailey has been working with Dayton Public Schools as Welcome Stadium's Caretaker for 18 years. (Photo by: WDTN/Jake Ryle)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Most high schools will have an entire cleaning crew to set-up and break down sideline equipment.

At Dayton’s Welcome Stadium it’s Hal Bailey’s job.

“It’s important, but to me it’s a job,” Bailey said.

Bailey isn’t one for the attention; however, he did say he’s seen his fair share of changes over the past 18 years.

“I’ve seen the field changed over. I’ve seen a new paint job go in,” he added, “As far as anything else, it’s just an average day.”

His work week is anything but ordinary. Bailey has seen hundreds, if not thousands, of events take place at Welcome Stadium.

“Track season is more busy than football season. There’s more to track season than people think.”

Bailey sets up pylons for football, along with hurdles and other track and field event equipment the day before the event.

“All I have to do is turn the scoreboard on be ready for the lights.”

The goal is to put the emphasis on cleaning bathrooms and the stands during the game.

Bailey says it all started 39 years ago.

“I was a bus driver at the beginning. Started right out of high school as a bus driver,” he said.

His job is busy twice a month–as he has to groom the turf in different directions.

Teams with names like Wolverines and Bisons will stomp all over the field in Friday night’s Game of the Week, but it’s other animals he keeps his eyes on.

“Racoons, squirrels, and cats,” he added, “Oh yeah, we get a lot of them from the park.”

It’s all to keep Welcome Stadium welcoming to anyone who steps inside.

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