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  • Writer's pictureDave Cottenie

InfoCision Stadium - Summa Field - Akron Zips


Photos by Dave Cottenie, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.57

InfoCision Stadium 375 E Exchange St Akron, OH 44304


Year Opened: 2009

Capacity: 30,000

 

Rubber Zips


Since fielding a team all the way back in 1891, the Akron Zips have not had the strongest of teams. However, Akron does enjoy a rich history and traces its lineage back to John Heisman … THE John Heisman of the famous Heisman Trophy awarded each year to the top NCAA Football player. In 1988, Akron joined the Mid-American Conference, one of the most stable conferences in the NCAA. Akron became the first program to move from Division I-AA up to Division I-A. The Zips have enjoyed a MAC Conference Championship once in 2005 and been to three post season bowls, winning one.


With one of the most unique names in all of college sports, the Zips are a nod to the history of the City of Akron as the rubber capital of the world. The Zips are specifically named after rubber boots called Zippers that were manufactured by the B.F. Goodrich Company whose headquarters were in Akron. The home of the Zips from 1940 to 2008 was the Rubber Bowl. Replacement for the Rubber Bowl came in 2009 with InfoCision Stadium - Summa Field which signaled a return to campus for Akron. The naming rights of the stadium are shared by InfoCision Management Corporation and Summa Health System.


Food & Beverage 3

The concession options at InfoCision Stadium are fairly limited. There are a number of concession stands under each of the two main grandstands. Typical concession items are what will be found here including hot dogs, brats, cheeseburgers, nachos, pretzels, popcorn and chicken tenders. Chick-fil-A sandwiches and Papa John’s pizza are also available being brought in from outside. The soft drinks available are Pepsi products and beer options include Bud Light, Michelob Ultra and Stella Artois. Fans will not go hungry at InfoCision Stadium, but there isn’t much to grab the imagination.


Atmosphere 3

InfoCision Stadium is a nice facility. It doesn’t have a deep history or anything that adds to the wow factor, but it is a solid stadium. InfoCision Stadium consists of two main grandstands on either side of the north-south oriented field. The entire stadium area is surrounded by attractive wraught iron fencing. The main grandstand, which also includes the press box and luxury boxes, is the west grandstand and the exterior is attractive brown brick and glass. The best place to enter InfoCision Stadium is at the south entrance, where fans are greeted with the bronze statue of former Akron head coach, John Heisman. The team store is also found at the south entrance. Just north of InfoCision Stadium is the fieldhouse and the Zips cross the road and enter the stadium from there.


Inside InfoCision Stadium fans will notice that the concourses underneath the grandstands can be on the dark side. The concession and washrooms are easily accessed from this area. The highlights of the concourse are almost missed due to their proximity to the patron. High above the concession stands are large posters outlining the highlights of Akron Zips football. These include the history of the Wagon Wheel rivalry with Kent State, the 2005 MAC Conference Championship, Postseason History, Historic Coaches, Winningest Seasons and Jason Taylor. Both grandstands have two tiers and are composed of bleacher benches. Some reserved seating exists with plastic stadium seats. The brick wall past the north endzone highlights the most honoured Zips whose numbers are retired. These include Chris Angeloff, Charlie Frye and Jason Taylor. Their banners are joined by the Wall of Champions and honors for coaches Gordon Larson and Jim Dennison. The cannon is found in the southwest corner of the stadium at field level and is shot when the Zips score. The videoboard is good quality and is found past the south endzone.


The gameday production for a Zips football game is about what one would expect from a mid-major football program. Ohio’s Pride, the Akron marching band, performs northwest of InfoCision Stadium at Coleman Commons before the game. They march down Spicer Street and play for the tailgaters in the lot south of the stadium before entering. The perform on the field at halftime and before the opening kick. The cheerleaders perform stunts on the sideline and move with the band before pregame. The Akron mascot, Zippy, a kangaroo, takes part in the pregame festivities and can be found on field level or interacting with fans during the game.



Neighborhood 4

The University of Akron is located east of Downtown Akron. InfoCision Stadium is found at the east end of campus encircled by Vine, Spicer, Union and Exchange Streets. There are a few spots for pre or post game food or drink. Exchange Street has a number of options, most of which are fast food chains. Score Draft Room may be an option. There are more options the short drive to downtown including Canal Place, R. Shea Brewing, the Diamond Deli and the Spaghetti Warehouse.


Depending on the scheduling of the Zips game, an Akron Zips basketball game at James A. Rhodes Arena, steps from InfoCision Stadium may be an additional sporting option, or possibly the Akron Rubberducks from the Double-A Eastern League at downtown’s Canal Park. Some non-sporting tourist options include the Akron Zoo and Stan Hywet Hall, or perhaps taking a look at the former site of the Rubber Bowl would be of interest.


For fans wishing to stay near InfoCision Stadium, the Hilton and BLU-Tique Akron are both options.


Fans 3

The combination of generally not being terribly competitive in the MAC and proximity to Cleveland leave InfoCision Stadium with more empty seats than full seats. Akron attracted an average of almost 11,200 fans per game in 2022. For the game that was reviewed, the paid attendance was just north of 5,400. With a stadium capacity of 30,000, this leaves an environment that could be better. Close to the bottom in the MAC, Akron needs to do more to bring the students into the stadium as a student section was not obvious.

Access 5

Getting to InfoCision Stadium is very easy. InfoCision Stadium is located on campus, east of Downtown Akron. It is north of I-76 and west of highway 8, which gives campus easy access from the major highways of the area. There is parking on campus and north of campus with plenty of options. Tailgating usually occurs in the lot just at the south end of InfoCision Stadium. For fans wishing to take public transit to the game, there are Akron Metro bus stops that can be found on the streets surrounding campus. Fans should consult the Akron Metro website for schedules, maps and fares.


Due to the capacity of InfoCision Stadium and the average number of fans in attendance, getting around the stadium is not difficult at all and the washroom facilities are more than adequate.


Stadium Journey recognizes that the security protocols for major sporting events are in constant flux. Stadium Journey highly recommends consulting the Akron Zips website for the most up to date security information, including bag policy and prohibited items.



Return on Investment 4

Taking in an Akron Zips football game is very affordable. General Admission tickets can be had for $19 and reserved seating can be found for $31 to $38. The Zips do a good job with their gameday production and the college football feeling is there with the Zips. Concession prices are not terrible and parking will come with a cost as well. The output for a Zips game is not too high, however, if the Zips were more popular and found more fans in the stands, the return on the investment would be even better


Extras 3

An extra mark for the rivalry games the Akron Zips partake in, specifically the Steel Tire against Youngstown State and the Wagon Wheel versus the Kent State Golden Flashes.


An extra mark for being the first program to move from Division I-AA to Division I-A.


An extra mark for the lone Akron Zip in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Jason Taylor.



Final Thoughts

A Saturday afternoon at InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field with the Akron Zips is a good time. It would be an even better time if more people knew and more people showed up. When in Northern Ohio, taking in a Zips game is well worth it and the money required for it is not bad at all.


Follow all of Dave’s sporting adventures on YouTube, Twitter, Threads and Instagram @profan9.


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