Abandoned Rubber Bowl

Akron, Abandoned stadium

The Rubber Bowl was one of those places I had known about for a little while but wasn’t all that concerned with actually getting to. I’m not interested in football at all, and I really didn’t see how an abandoned stadium could be all that cool. I had seen a few photos but wasn’t too impressed. I’m fully prepared to admit I was wrong, the Rubber Bowl was pretty darn awesome! I’m super pumped about my photos.

Let’s back up a second though. The Rubber Bowl is a, now abandoned, stadium in Akron, Ohio that was built in 1940. It was primarily used as a football field, both professional and high school, but also hosted concerts, and other events. Large names such as Black Sabbath, Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, Alice Cooper, Tom Petty, The Grateful Dead, and Aretha Franklin, among many others, have all played here.

Since 2008, when the Rubber Bowl’s home team The Zips, moved to a new stadium this place has sat abandoned. In 2012, a marketing company with big hopes purchase the stadium for $38,000. They have yet to do anything with the property but claim that the stadium could be up and running within six to eight months if they wanted. Apparently, “most of the damage is cosmetic.”

Rubber Bowl Stadium
While we were poking around two teenage boys showed up. Always a little bit skeptical of others, I kept my eye on them only to watch them change shoes and start playing catch down on the field. It was kind of unexpected but can you blame them? I mean, what could beat your own personal football field to practice on?
I sent my mom a photo that Jeff took of me on the steps. Apparently in 1972 she had seen the Rolling Stones here. It’s one thing to read the history the history of a place but thinking that forty-four years ago my mom was somewhere in these stands, probably dancing and screaming her head off, is just crazy!  It’s things like that bring you right back down to reality. This is a real place, that A LOT of people have had special moments at. I don’t necessarily feel sad about abandoned places (yes, it’s a total waste!) but knowing that someone I know was here makes me feel something I can’t quite describe. If you recall, she had also visited this now abandoned amusement park I blogged about back in 2014.

After finishing up shooting, we ended up finding a football. Jeff, Jason, and Brandon tossed it around while I laid on the ground and soaked up the sunshine. Playing catch might be something totally normal for most dudes but these are three guys I have never seen show any interest in sports before so it was particularly amusing watching them throw the ball back and forth. There were a few random tires scattered across the field so they took turns trying to throw the ball through a rolling tire. We could have hung out a lot longer and I’d have been a happy gal. The sunshine, and blue skies were a nice change of pace from the constant gray Ohio has been. And the artificial turf? SO warm! For a brief moment it was easy to forget it was we’re smack dab in the middle of January.


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