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It’s Robert Rich Sr. All High Stadium

These new signs properly label the structure.

These new signs properly label the structure.

We’ve been reading recent stories in the Buffalo News about sportswriter Tom Borrelli’s terrible fall last week at the old All High Stadium. He’s currently battling life-threatening injuries. The News has fittingly started a blog where people can express their concern, and offer their wishes for a full recovery. The story has also been covered by the Tonawanda News, in the city where Borrelli resides.

One thing that was drilled into me as a stringer writing concert reviews for the Buffalo News several years back was the importance of correctly identifying the venue where the event took place. We all know that naming rights for stadiums are a huge deal these days, and people get upset when their stadium is improperly identified. So, it’s puzzling that the location where Borrelli suffered his injury has not been accurately named in any of the media reports filed by either paper. For the record, Borrelli suffered his fall on the antiquated stairs leading to the press box at Robert Rich Sr. All High Stadium, which underwent major renovations a couple of years ago. I remembered this name change because it was explained to me by Buffalo Public Schools spokesperson Stefan Mychajliw when I was researching a story about the Buffalo Public Schools Foundation earlier this year. Many of the late Buffalo businessman’s friends contributed to the BPSF after his death.

In that story, I listed the major donors to this private 501c3 organization. Here is their tax return for 2006, and here is their return for 2007—which was unavailable at the time I wrote the story. If you scroll to the end, you’ll see the list of donors for both years. The bulk of the money has been spent on uniforms and staff retreats. Page two of the 2007 return indicates that $15,000 was spent on a new scoreboard at the stadium where Borrelli fell. There’s no telling how much the Foundation has raised this year, but they’re clearly sitting on a substantial chunk of change.

Here’s a rundown of all the improvements that were planned for the structure. With that in mind, how disheartening is it to read that improvements to the press box, and the stairs leading to it, were scrapped due to cost?


UPDATE 11/20/08

After learning of Borrelli’s death this morning, I called Stefan Mychajliw and left a message asking about the stairs and press box at the stadium. Minutes later, I received this official statement from the Buffalo Public Schools.

  • Buck Quigley

    The Buffalo News reports that Tom Borrelli died at 5:30am this morning as a result of complications from the injuries he suffered at Robert Rich Sr. All High Stadium on November 8.

  • John Q Blogger

    This has now entered the jurisdiction of the courtroom. You can bet this as a sure thing.

    Todays death of Mr. Tom Borrelli from his fall at the Bennett All High stadium press box was a preventable accident. More important at this moment is for the public to be compassionate towards his family and friends in this time of great loss.

  • Pomeroy

    WIVB 4:

    Buffalo News Managing Editor Howard Smith says there’s a huge void in the newsroom without Tom Borrelli…

    Tom was critically injured while covering a high school game nearly two weeks ago at All High Stadium.
    He fell down what some say was a dangerous staircase leading to the press box.

    The Buffalo School District declined to talk about the accident, other than to express its sympathy to the Borrelli Family.

    Smith said, “A lot of stadiums in western New York are not what you want them to be, old and damaged It’s something an issue that once this settles we’ll take a look at.”