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The Journal Gazette

  • FILE - This Nov. 13, 2008, file photo, shows the Rubber Bowl as Akron takes on Buffalo in an NCAA college football game, the last Akron game to be played at the stadium, in Akron, Ohio. Allowed in recent decades to deteriorate into a dilapidated public health hazard, the landmark 78-year-old stadium will start to come down next week. (Mike Cardew/Akron Beacon Journal via AP, File)

  • In this June 6, 2018 photo, the closed end of abandoned Akron Rubber Bowl stadium is pictured in Akron, Ohio. Part of the historic stadium is being torn down starting next week because it’s a public health hazard. (AP Photo/Mitch Stacy)

  • FILE - This March 27, 2006, file photo, shows the University of Akron Rubber Bowl and Derby Downs taken from the Goodyear Blimp in Akron, Ohio. Allowed in recent decades to deteriorate into a dilapidated public health hazard, the landmark 78-year-old stadium will start to come down next week. (Paul Tople/Akron Beacon Journal via AP)

  • FILE - In this July 19, 1983, file photo, Art Garfunkel, left, and Paul Simon rehearse their act onstage at the Akron Rubber Bowl, in preparation for their concert. The 78-year-old stadium has been allowed to crumble into a public health hazard, and the city plans to begin tearing it down. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan, File)

  • In this June 6, 2018 photo, the press box and home stands of the abandoned Akron Rubber Bowl are pictured in Akron, Ohio. Part of the historic stadium is being torn down starting next week because it’s a public health hazard. (AP Photo/Mitch Stacy)

  • In this June 6, 2018 photo, the abandoned Akron Rubber Bowl stadium is pictured with the adjacent Derby Downs soap box derby track in Akron, Ohio. Part of the historic stadium is being torn down starting next week because it’s a public health hazard. (AP Photo/Mitch Stacy)

  • In this June 6, 2018 photo, the abandoned Akron Rubber Bowl stadium is pictured in Akron, Ohio. Part of the historic stadium is being torn down starting next week because it’s a public health hazard. (AP Photo/Mitch Stacy)

Saturday, June 09, 2018 12:40 pm

Storied Akron Rubber Bowl awaits demolition

MITCH STACY | Associated Press

AKRON, Ohio -- The glorious past of the Akron Rubber Bowl couldn't save it from the wrecking ball.

The 78-year-old stadium has been allowed to crumble into a public health hazard, and the city plans to begin tearing it down next week.

Built as a public-works project during the Depression, the Rubber Bowl had seen lots of high school and college football. Occasional NFL games were played there, along with rodeos, dirt-track auto racing, circuses, prize fights and music.

Three Dog Night, the Osmond Brothers, Simon and Garfunkel, Van Halen and the Grateful Dead all stopped there on concert tours. Evangelist Billy Graham drew 40,000 for a 1956 crusade.

The Rubber Bowl was the home field for the University of Akron Zips until they moved to a new stadium in 2009.