Born out of both necessity and accident, the Reitz Bowl in Evansville, Indiana is one of the nation’s most historic and unique natural high school football stadiums. It was originally planned as a retaining wall for the new F. J. Reitz High School, founded in 1918. Foresight by a school member noted that with some small changes a football stadium could be created out of the retaining wall. In 1921, the first year in which Reitz High School was fully accredited by North Central Association, the 10,000-seat Reitz Stadium was completed.
In 1978, Reitz Bowl was chosen to host the first DRUMS on the OHIO competition. It is one of the most unique stadiums for drum corps. With the concrete bleachers and the brick wall of the press box, the acoustics for drum corps is amazing. (Fiberglass seats were added on top of the concrete in 2007 for comfort.) Directors from all over the country have praised the sound quality. Along with the sound, the pitch of the stands gives a wonderful view of the corps as they perform.
In the early part of 2009, construction crews began to tear up the old natural playing surface and the Reitz Bowl was given a long awaited gift of artificial turf. There were several years that the rain-soaked field was a problem with some corps slipping and sliding in muddy areas of the field. Having since been completed, DRUMS on the OHIO and the Reitz Bowl has become a favorite venue to corps around the country.
Each year the contest has grown in attendance and popularity. Thousands of drum corps fans travel to Evansville to witness some of the most prestigious corps at this wonderful and historic facility.