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Official Review by Aaron S. Terry, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Opened in 2009, InfoCision Stadium is home to the University of Akron football team and it holds 30,000 fans. It replaced the almost 70-year-old Rubber Bowl, which actually holds slightly more, but was expensive to maintain, and is located six miles from campus. Because of poor on-field performance, the Zips have had trouble filling InfoCision Stadium and in 2014-15, it had the lowest average attendance of any FBS program.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
InfoCision Stadium offers everything you would expect from a sports venue, including a wide selection of beer.
Most of the concessions can be purchased from the main stands on the east and west sides, but there are a couple of satellite stands, such as Chick-fil-A. The main stands offer hot dogs, hamburgers, Italian sausage, and Papa John's pizza, as well as nachos, peanuts, french fries, pretzels, Shearer's potato chips, candy, funnel cake fries, and Cracker Jack - these items cost between $3 and $6.
Regular drink options include bottled water, Coke products from the fountain, Powerade, coffee, and hot cocoa ($3-$6), and can be purchased from the main stands. In addition, a wide variety of beer, including Bud, Bud Light, Stella, Great Lakes Brewing Company, Heineken, Corona, Yuengling, Shock Top, Goose Island IPA, Beck's, Red Hook Longhammer IPA, and Mixx Tail Hurricane/Long Island can be found at the main stands, or at satellite stands that only sell alcohol. Bud Light, Shock Top, and Yuengling are on draft, while the others are in bottles or cans (Bud Light is available both ways). All alcohol selections are $7 except the Mixx Tails, which are $5.50; you can also buy malt beverages at the main stands for $5.50.
The experience at InfoCision Stadium is rather low key, mostly due to the small crowd, but the venue is family friendly and easy to get in and out of.
Unlike most smaller football stadiums, InfoCision Stadium doesn't have real seats in either end zone (most football venues have them in at least one). The north side contains part of the football facility, while the south side has berm (grass) - a handful of fans might stand here during the game, but basically this is empty space, except for the video board. There is a nice walking path on both ends making it easy to move around, and fans along either sideline can easily see the big screen.
Most of the seats on the east and west are metal bleachers without chairbacks, but there are two small sections that have chairback rails - one in the middle on the east side (lower level), and the other in the middle on the west side (upper level). Four different companies have naming rights to parts of the stadium, so you will also see some branding in various locations. See a quick tour of the stadium here:
There are some inflatables set up in the north end zone for the kids, which is a nice feature, and they also have some alcohol-free sections you can sit in. The mascot even visits with the fans at their tailgates outside the stadium, and the staff also sometimes has giveaways, such as bobbleheads. However, these promotions don't always work well because there are too few fans and far too many giveaways, especially late in the season as the weather gets colder.
There are several restaurants across the street from the south end zone (all of which can be seen from inside the stadium), and there is at least one great attraction nearby - the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
East Exchange Street has a Buffalo Wild Wings and The Score Draft Room, as well as several fast food places, all an easy walk from the stadium, so there are several options for before or after the game. Some of them even support the Zips by displaying kangaroo statues in front of their buildings. And if you are in town for the weekend, there are some great attractions nearby, including the Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, the Akron Zoo, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame (in nearby Canton). While not in Akron proper, the Hall of Fame is definitely worth a visit if you have never been, so if you are coming to a Zips game, make sure to plan time for a visit.
InfoCision Stadium is located near the I-76/I-77 interchange, so there are plenty of hotels within a few miles of the stadium, depending on your budget and preferences.
Even for the biggest game of the year (the Wagon Wheel game versus cross-town rival Kent State), ticket sales might only be around 15,000, and actual attendance will be far lower (more in the 5,000-8,000 range). Some of the fans are pretty into it, but you won't see very many wearing team gear, and there isn't much noise, except during the most exciting plays (or the most egregious officiating calls).
In 2014-15, the Zips had the lowest attendance of any FBS program, and as a result, you will notice that several of the concessions stands are closed during games, and the team store (which is open) is practically deserted.
Thanks in large part to the low attendance, getting in and out of InfoCision Stadium is a breeze. You can park literally across the street from the field for $10, and the large, modern bathrooms have plenty of sinks and stalls. The concourses are plenty wide, and there are walkways on both the north and south which make it easy to get around - you can even stand there and watch the game, if you would rather not sit.
There are gates at each corner; the ticket office is on the southwest side near the team store. There is a bus station about a mile from the stadium, but parking is so easy it probably doesn't make sense to take public transportation, unless you don't own a car.
The cost to attend an Akron football game is probably too high, given the experience.
Tickets start at $20, which is not low enough to garner high attendance. And while parking is certainly reasonable at $10, concessions are a little on the high side compared to similar venues.
You are better off to just buy your tickets at the door, to save on Ticketmaster and other fees, since the stadium will not sell out, and you can pretty much sit wherever you want. You might also try buying them on the secondary market.
John Heisman coached at the University of Akron (formerly known as Buchtel College) back in 1893-94, and there is a statue honoring him behind the south end zone.
An almost brand-new stadium, but with very low attendance, attending a game at InfoCision Stadium won't give you a high-energy experience. But, if you are looking for something to do that is low-key and hassle-free, like taking the family or some friends to a game, this is an easy way to do it. Or, seeing a Zips game might be a good option as an add-on to a weekend in the area (such as a visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame), but it doesn't necessarily need to be the main event.
Member Review by collegiatestdms
In 2009, the University of Akron opened their new home football stadium- InfoCision Stadium. The stadium replaced the long-time home of the Akron Zips, The Rubber Bowl, but moved home games on to the campus. While there is nothing that will blow you away about InfoCision Stadium, it is a pleasant little venue to see some FBS college football on a fall Saturday.
Member Review by hwktrn on Feb 16, 2012
Member Review by profan9 on Dec 04, 2014
Akron, Ohio was once the rubber capital of the world. Much has changed. Now Akron is known more for being the hometown of LeBron James than anything else. Changes in the city of Akron have also been met with changes at the University of Akron. The Akron Zips once played their games off-campus at the Rubber Bowl. In 2009, the Zips christened their brand new, on-campus stadium. A sign of the times was the selling of the naming rights to InfoCision Management Corporation and Summa Health Systems and InfoCision Stadium - Summa Field was born.
The Zips fielded their first football team in 1891. The team name came was originally the Zippers, which came from a popular rubber overshoe of the same name that was made by B.F. Goodrich, which was founded in Akron. The name was later shortened to Zips. Spending the majority of their existence playing other small colleges, Akron football has changed quickly. In 1973, Akron received Division II status and became Division I-AA in 1980. In 1987 the Zips moved to Division I-A and moved into the Mid-American Conference in 1992. The MAC is the perfect conference for Akron and the Zips have seen their most successful season in the conference with their 2005 conference championship.
The Zips have had difficulty putting a consistent, competitive team on the field. However, Akron does offer a decent college atmosphere and have made some strides, but there is still much work to do and improvements to be made.
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