Rehabbing The Bowl

June 21, 2005

By Sean Barker, Assistant Sports Editor
Reprinted with permission from the New Haven Register

The restoration project at Yale Bowl is well under way, with work being done to both the interior and exterior of the national historic landmark in New Haven. Some seats have been ripped out, portions of concrete have been demolished and frames have been put in place for new pourings.

The goal is to have much of the seating on the home side available for home games this season, especially the Nov.19 game against Harvard. Each of the past two home games against Harvard has drawn more than 50,000.

Work will continue during the season and portions of the Bowl will be closed at times.

Work on the exterior façade and the lower ring wall (surrounding the field) also will be completed this year. The priority is to fix any drainage problems so the new concrete is not subject to any potential damage.

Trees that grew between the interior and exterior walls have been removed. The trees, which were never planted, had root systems the size of some tree trunks - many of which played a key role in the destruction of the exterior walls.

The bowl was built in 1914 and has served as the inspiration for several major sports venues, including the Rose Bowl. The capacity of the bowl (64,269) is not expected to change.

Portal 9, a demo for the remaining 21 portals, might look complete, but there is still work to be done, most notably to get the coloration of the concrete to match the original.

Officials expect the project, which will cost at least $21 million, to be completed during the 2006 season.