AKRON, Ohio-- Demolition of the Rubber Bowl in Akron began Wednesday afternoon.
The stadium, which is littered with debris and covered in graffiti, was condemned last year because of safety concerns.
"Today is a pretty bittersweet moment," said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan. "While the Rubber Bowl standing before us is a vacant eyesore, it really is a magnet for vandalism and a safety hazard. This structure was once a beacon of engineering, athletic skill and entertainment in our great city."
Horrigan said this will open the area up to future development around the Akron Fulton International Airport and Derby Downs. He estimated the partial demolition will be completed by the end of October.
"This site is not a playground and I've talked about a lot of urban explorers coming out here over the last month, but it is an active demolition site. While trespassing may have been tolerated in the past, the site is now under 24-hour security," Horrigan said.
The Rubber Bowl was built in 1940 and served as the home of the Akron Zips football team until 2008. That's when the university sold it to a private company.
Plans to turn it into a year-round entertainment venue never came to fruition and the decaying facility was foreclosed on last year.