If you covet weathered stadium bleachers and 12-foot-tall wrought iron gates then an auction Saturday at the former Rubber Bowl is for you.
Akron auctioneer Glenn Witchey will sell the contents of the onetime University of Akron venue starting at 11 a.m.
“If it’s not concrete, it’s pretty much going to go,” Witchey said.
UA sold the football stadium in May to Team 1 Marketing for $38,000.
The Canton company aims to turn the 73-year-old, horseshoe-shaped bowl into an entertainment center for mixed-martial arts, concerts, fireworks, football games and just about anything else it can think of.
That will take some doing, as the facility already was decrepit by the time UA mothballed it in 2008.
Time has not been kind to the 6.8-acre bowl, which is next to the All-American Soap Box Derby and Akron-Fulton International Airport.
Graffiti artists scaled the fences and left their marks. Weeds have taken over. Concrete is crumbling everywhere.
Team 1 staffers have swept up trash bag after trash bag of concrete chunks, weeds, plastic bottles, junked chairs, broken glass and stray seat cushions.
But there is much more that Witchey and Team 1 hope will be valuable to buyers — either as mementos or for scrap.
Witchey said he will walk through the facility to auction off goal posts, flag poles, lights, signs, food carts, toilets, sinks, footlockers, two safes, tarps, doors, sound systems, fences, gates, padding, lockers and even the field turf.
Team 1 President Sean Mason said the turf is appraised at $180,000.
“We have a reserve on the field,” Mason said. “We expect that to be the biggest seller.”
Buyers will be responsible for getting their purchases out of the facility.
After that, it’s go time for the bowl’s new lease on life. Mason said his investors will pump $10 million to $12 million into new turf, an aluminum overdeck system that will cover the concrete and seal it from further decay and a pre-fabricated press box.
“We’re actually looking at putting a dome on the stadium,” so that it could be used year-round. That would add another $15 million to $20 million to the bill, he said.
He hopes to start construction by the end of November and have it ready for a July 4 concert and fireworks show.
By then the facility may have a new name. Team 1 is talking to some companies about purchasing the naming rights, Mason said. While it is still commonly called the Rubber Bowl, Team 1 doesn’t have the rights to call it that.
The doors open at 9 a.m. Saturday at the bowl at 800 George Washington Blvd. in southeast Akron. Attendees must sign a waiver before entering the bowl.
For details, call Witchey at 330-329-7501. His photos of some sale items are posted at www.auctionzip.com/Listings/1912577.html.
Carol Biliczky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-996-3729.