Supplement Feature - July 2009
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Stadium Solutions

An Inside Look at Outdoor Sports

By Richard Zowie

Look Out for Lacrosse

Baseball, soccer and football may be the first outdoor sports that come to mind when you think about stadiums, but perhaps you should think "outside the box."

According to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA), interest in lacrosse has never been stronger, and it's not slowing down. According to the SGMA 2009 Lacrosse Single Sport Report, lacrosse remains one of the "hottest" sports to play in the United States. Participation in the sport has grown by nearly 80,000 participants per year since 2000.

Participation in the sport has more than doubled since then, from 518,000 to 1,127,000. And there's a lot more growth potential as two-thirds of all lacrosse players hail from just a third of the country.

"Concentration of lacrosse participation lies along the Eastern Seaboard," said SGMA President Tom Cove. "Right now, virtually all of the Midwest is an untapped demographic."

The rate of participation is high, and the players are young, which bodes well for future growth.

For more information visit

InfoCision Stadium/Summa Field
University of Akron
Akron, Ohio

Located about 40 miles south of Cleveland, Akron is home to the University of Akron and the Akron Zips. From 1940 to 2008, the football team played at the Rubber Bowl, but the age of the facility and its cost led Akron officials to decide to build a new stadium.

According to data from the college's Web site, it was estimated to cost about $66 million to renovate the Rubber Bowl to bring it up to code and up to ADA regulations. Conversely, the total cost of building a new stadium was about $61.6 million—representing a savings of more than $4 million.

The Akron Zips closed out the Rubber Bowl on Nov. 13, 2008, by losing to the Buffalo Bulls 43-40 in quadruple overtime. They will open InfoCision Stadium/ Summa Field on Sept. 12, 2009, against Baltimore-based Morgan State University.

The new stadium features seating for 30,000 fans along with 15 private suites, a club level that seats 486, 38 four-person loge boxes and an end zone grass berm seating area. The stadium also will have 300 seat locations for those with physical disabilities. The stadium also can be used for high school sports, marching band activities and summer athletic camps.

What's more, like the University of Minnesota's new stadium, the new InfoCision Stadium/Summa Field will be on campus (the Rubber Bowl is about thee miles from Akron's campus). With Akron having 10,000 parking spots on campus, this means those parking on campus will have a five to 15-minute walk to the stadium.