Abandoned Rubber Bowl - The Dainty Squid

Abandoned Rubber Bowl

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

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.

xoxo

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35 thoughts

  1. The field looks to be in pretty great condition considering!

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    1. I know! It's funny how beat up everything else looks and then the field is only ruined in a few spots where people cut up sections.

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  2. I agree that I was distracted by the wreck of the stands until your shot of the 50 yard line revealed how spectacular the turf looks in comparison. I don't blame the kids for coming out to play either.

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    1. Right? Definitely a pretty cool spot to go hang out!

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  3. Beautiful pictures :-) (I only found your blog recently I've been binge-reading all your posts!) It's great that people sneak in to play on the pitch - it'd almost be a shame to get it back up and running and deprive them of having their own secret stadium!

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    1. Thanks so much! Glad you're enjoying! :D

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  4. This is rad! I absolutely love your posts on abandoned spaces, and this is no exception :-) It's really interesting to see something so empty, when once upon a time it must have frequently been absolutely rammed, because of all of the events there... I wonder how it would compare if it was revamped?

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    1. Thanks so much, Sian!

      I have no idea! I read they were thinking of covering it and making it an indoor venue. I wonder if they'll ever do anything with it...

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  5. Oh how fun!! The stadium looks pretty good considering and yes, that fields looks really great! And that's such a cool a story about your Mother seeing the Rolling Stones there.

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  6. WOW! These photos are amazing. That looks like a fun place to visit.

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  7. The fields look like they have been treated by a secret gardener :)

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    1. Haha, well it's fake so it'll probably last a long long looooong time.

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  8. That is so cool!! I'm a huuuuge football fan so it would have been really cool to find something like this near me. If you're ever in CO again, swing by our town, we have a ton of abandoned places!

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    1. I'd LOVE to visit CO again! We loved it there, well, specifically we love Durango. I'd move there in a heartbeat! You anywhere near there?

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    2. We're about 5 hours from there, ee were there last weekend to see cousins but I'm not sure we could live there. It's cute but we lived in an artsy college town before and it was no bueno hahah!

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  9. so cool!!! wow!!! love the 50 yard line shot!!!

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    1. Thanks! That was one of my favorites as well. :)

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  10. Such cool photos! I love that your Mum saw the Rolling Stones there, my Mum saw them in 1965 in Brisbane (Australia).

    Kate | themintedblog.com

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    1. That's awesome! So crazy to think about our parents seeing REALLY REALLY huge bands.

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  11. Beautiful pictures with rest of snow, magnificent faded blue color and super original abandonned place!

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  12. That's really cool that your mom had been there! My dad loves talking about the past, so if I had done something similar he would have been stoked and then went on and on about the concert or whatever he saw there.

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  13. These are so fun!
    you probably get asked this a lot, but with all the abandoned places you photograph, do you ever get worried about trespassing and whatnot? There's an abandoned school for the deaf and blind down the street from me that I am aching to explore but I'm a worrywart over getting caught by some sort of security guard or something.

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    1. Yeah, of course! You obviously have to be very careful. There are more than a handful of spots I'd love to get but haven't because they're too hot.

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    2. Well, if I ever get the guts to photograph it, I'll let you know!

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  14. Also, off topic, I saw this and thought of you.
    https://www.etsy.com/listing/255248272/wolf-skull-replica-lapel-pin-detailed

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  15. What an interesting place! A football stadium wouldn't have been one of my first choices to go visit either, but it seems like it would be really neat to stand in the field, where huge events once took place. That's really cool about your mom being there years before!

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    1. Yeah, so crazy to think of this place at one time being completely packed with people!

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  16. This is so neat. I have so many memories of the Rubber Bowl from my years at the University of Akron. I graduated in 2010...it's hard to believe how quickly nature has taken over!

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    1. Hey, small world! It really is amazing how quickly nature takes back over.

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  17. I went to school there 20+ years ago so that place brings back great memories! Great pictures!

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