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The Historic Rubber Bowl Will Soon be Rubble

Deomlition of the Rubber Bowl
TIM RUDELL
/
WKSU
The Akron Rubber Bowl June 20, 2018

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

Mayor Horrigan news conference
Credit TIM RUDELL / WKSU
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WKSU
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan at the Rubber Bowl

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. People came here and made memories.”

Tom Labbe
Credit TIM RUDELL / WKSU
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WKSU
Former North High football player and 45-year football referee Tom Labbe recalls ball games and stock-car races.

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.  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.