Return to The Tradition

Reitz Bowl

thebowl3The Reitz Bowl, one of the great natural stadiums in the nation, was born by accident. It was originally planned as a retaining wall for the new F. J. Reitz High School. Foresight by a school member noted that with some small changes a football stadium could be made too. This was done and 2013 will mark the 95th year for football at the Bowl. The first two years was a reserve schedule and then, in 1921, Reitz began varsity play.

In 1931, Reitz played its first night game. That same year, Reitz played Bosse an extra game for charity on December 4th. This was during the great depression. 1959 was the last Thanksgiving Day game in the State of Indiana, Reitz against Bosse. 1973 saw the new all transistor scoreboard go into effect. It was, as all past Reitz scoreboards, a gift of the Nut Club.

thebowl1974 saw PAT come to Reitz Bowl. PAT is Prescription Athletic Turf, a method of draining and irrigation from pipes laid beneath the playing surface. What occurs during this process is the drainage of any excess water by a vacuum system when the field is flooded by rain, and irrigating water to the surface of the field when it is too dry.

thebowl2Along with PAT came the renovation of the bowl seating, walkways, and stairs. A new all weather track was added too. 1976 saw the new all metal permanent type bleachers become a reality.

Play Clocks were introduced to the Bowl in 1995, and 2003 saw a brand new sound system that rivals those in the Big Ten. In 2009, a new synthetic turf was installed and in 2011 the field in Reitz Bowl was dedicated as Herman Byers Field.

Other uses for the Bowl throughout the years

  • Mater Dei plays their home games at Reitz Bowl
  • For many years, Evansville College played their home football games at the Bowl
  • The Refrigerator Bowl was a postseason college football game played at the Bowl
  • The EJFL also plays their championship game at the Bowl
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