Linn supervisors want Cedar Rapids school district to name Kingston Stadium after Bob Brooks

Legendary journalist was first to broadcast from Kingston press box in 1952

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CEDAR RAPIDS — A few Linn County supervisors are pushing to rename Cedar Rapids’ Kingston Stadium after legendary broadcaster Bob Brooks, who died Saturday.

Supervisors Amy Johnson and Brent Oleson are broaching the idea to the full board in hopes of honoring Brooks, who was the first to broadcast from Kingston Stadium press box in 1952.

“He was not only a local legend, he was synonymous with Kingston for seven decades,” said Johnson, a former broadcast journalist herself. “I think the least we could do is start this conversation on how we could honor him.”

The Linn County Board of Supervisors will vote Wednesday on a resolution that would encourage the Cedar Rapids Community School District — which manages the Kingston Stadium — to rename the more than 60-year-old structure as Bob Brooks Stadium.

Brad Buck, superintendent of Cedar Rapids Community School District, said Tuesday he had not seen the county’s resolution, but said the school board would have to take up any discussion on renaming the structure.

“We will review it and decide how we would proceed from there,” he said in an email.

According to the school district policy handbook, the names of existing facilities are to remain unchanged, unless consent is provided by the school board.

Supervisor Jim Houser said the resolution would begin the conversation and weigh the school board’s interest.

“Ultimately that decision is in their court,” Houser said.

The school district in 2011 announced that Brooks would be a charter member of the new Kingston Stadium Hall of Fame and the press box was to be named in his honor.

Bill Happel, who was on the committee that pushed to rename the press box after Brooks, recalled the work it took.

“Getting the press box renamed, there were a lot of hoops to jump through,” he said. “The school board had a rule that they would not name a structure or street after someone who was living. We kind of had to work with them to get an exception.”

Opened in 1952, Kingston Stadium was named after the original settlement of Kingston, which was established in 1839 on the west side of the Cedar River. As communities grew over time, Kingston eventually became a part of the larger Cedar Rapids area.

Gazette reporter Molly Duffy contributed to this report.

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