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Akron Begins Demolition Of Historic Rubber Bowl

Jeremy Palek/Twitter

Demolition of Akron’s Rubber Bowl started on Wednesday, a decade after it ceased to be the stadium for University of Akron football and almost eight decades after it was designed.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan cited a wide range of memories in his news conference at the Rubber Bowl marking what he called a necessary but sad duty: ordering the teardown.

He remembered football games his father took him to and other events that drew millions over the years.

“Bob Hope was here, the Rolling Stones were here, there were two World Series of Rock concerts in the mid ‘70s,” Horrigan says. “People came here and made memories.”

A bystander, Tom Labbe remembered playing in the bowl for Akron North, as well as 45 more years of refereeing games there. He recalled some other events too, with a smile.

“They used to have midget auto racers out here, too,” Labbe says. “And stock-car racing, believe it or not. And you couldn’t sit in the first five or ten rows because the dirt would fly up in your face.”

The teardown will be in stages with the first set for completion in October.