Akron says goodbye to the Rubber Bowl

The Rubber Bowl

(Summit County) - Akron's legendary Rubber Bowl is in the process of being demolished. Mayor Dan Horrigan held a news conference at the site to update the situation. He admitted that a lot of memories were made at the Rubber Bowl, but the facility has outlived its usefulness. It should be completely demolished by October. City leaders hope to find a new use for the site.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan

The Rubber Bowl was primarily used for football. From its opening in 1940 until 2008, it served as the home field of the University of Akron Zips football team.

The Zips played 324 games at the stadium, which included their first-ever appearance on ESPN in 1986. 

The Cleveland Rams of the National Football League played two regular-season games at the Rubber Bowl, one in 1941 and again in 1942, and the Cleveland Browns used the stadium for 19 preseason games over the years, the most recent in 1973.Music groups such as Black Sabbath, Simon & Garfunkel, Alice Cooper, Three Dog Night, and The Rolling Stones played there in the 1970s. 

In the 1980s, the New Jersey tour of Jon Bon Jovi and the Monsters of Rock Tour 1988 that featured Van Halen, the Scorpions, and Metallica, had stops at the Rubber Bowl.

Akron's Rubber Bowl

Simon & Garfunkel returned in 1983 in front of a crowd of around 37,000, their first tour together in 13 years. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Bob Dylan, and The Grateful Dead toured together in 1986 and played at the Rubber Bowl, which featured Bob Dylan performing live on stage. 

The stadium also hosted a Veterans Memorial Jam concert with Aretha Franklin, Ringo Starr, and Three Dog Night in 1997 and Ozzfest in 1998.

Since 2008, the stadium has been mostly vacant.

(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM)

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