Cramton Bowl Montgomery
The Cramton Bowl is a stadium in Montgomery, Alabama, in the United States. Primarily designed for the playing of American football, it is the home field of the "Hornets" of Alabama State University and frequently used for high school football as well. It probably achieved its greatest fame as the home of the Blue-Gray Football Classic, an annual college football all-star game which was held there each December from 1938 until 2001. Cramton Bowl is named for F.J. Cramton, who donated the land on which the stadium is built.
The Cramton Bowl as currently configured has a seating capacity of 24,500; however, many more fans than that can be accommodated as needed in both the surrounding grounds, some of which slope downward toward the field, and in parts of the stadium from which seats have been removed but the concrete structure which underlay them still remains. In fact, this part of the stadium has often been used informally.
The Cramton Bowl is widely regarded as now being functionally obsolete for major sporting events. It is not the capacity of the Cramton Bowl that makes it obsolete as much as its age and condition and the fact that the seats are predominantly bleachers, not the individual chairback seats that fans of major sporting events have come to expect. In fact, the age and condition of the Cramton Bowl were factors, although not the predominant ones, in the Blue-Gray Game not being held in 2002 and its subsequent relocation in 2003 to Troy, Alabama's Movie Gallery Stadium, about 50 miles (80 km) from Montgomery. Although it is the intent of the Montgomery Lions Club to continue to stage the game (it was not held in 2004 due to the inability to arrange for a corporate sponsor and the consequent naming rights) and it is generally assumed that they would like it to return it to Montgomery if the Cramton Bowl were to be significantly upgraded or totally replaced, as Montgomery's minor league baseball park has been, but so far no one has seemed to come forward with a proposal that is both financially and politically feasible.
The Alabama Crimson Tide played games at Cramton Bowl for four years in the 1950s.