From Ada to New Orleans, Wilson footballs and employees make a trip to the Super Bowl
Thursday, January 31, 2013 1:09 AM
ADA - There are signs marking its existence at each entry into the village, but unless you drive down E. Montford Avenue, there is little indication that Ada is home to the world's only dedicated football making factory. Wilson Sporting Goods opened the unassuming factory in 1955, and has created every NFL and Super Bowl football there since that time. That's no secret, of course, to the 130 employees of the factory, one-third of whom call the Village of Ada home.The numbers alone are impressive. The factory turns out 4,000 footballs daily, each one going through 30 different operations before it can be packaged and shipped out the door. The Super Bowl balls are no exception. The "Duke" as it is nicknamed, takes 3-5 days to complete, beginning as a simple panel of cowhide, supplied by young steers from Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska. Wilson has dedicated itself to keeping their footballs truly American-made. The official balls of the biggest game of the year, are then sewn, laced, stamped, and inspected before being shipped to the official head referee for safekeeping.
Plant manager Dan Riegle, holds up one of the official NFL Super Bowl footballs, produced right here in Ada. Each one is stamped with the date and the teams who will be battling it out for the NFL’s biggest prize.
Footballs aren't the only representatives of Ada that will be in New Orleans this weekend. This year 17 employees of the Ada factory will be traveling to the Big Easy for the NFL Experience, including Jane Helser. Helser, a sewer has been employed at the factory for 46 years.
There are many special things about our tiny village tucked away in Northwest Ohio, but for one day each year, the whole world will be watching what the Village of Ada has to offer.