Season ticket holders find a home away from home with Zips athletics


Athletic facilities aren’t just places for UA teams to compete; they’re like a second home to dedicated fans. Just like the student cheering section (AK-Rowdies), season ticket holders bring spirit and dedication to games.

The Dort Brothers

Brothers Steve Dort ’93, a computer drafting major, and Paul Dort ’91, who majored in engineering, grew
up going to the annual Acme Zip football games at the Rubber Bowl with their parents. They are some of the most loyal season ticket holders for Zips football, men’s basketball and men’s soccer. Their wives, Missy and Christine, often accompany them to games, making it a family affair.

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The two brothers laughed when thinking back to memorable moments such as the legendary Thanksgiving Day in 2005 when the football team battled Kent State in a near blizzard at the Rubber Bowl, clinching the Mid-American Conference East Division title. Or the epic bus trips to away basketball games, where the camaraderie was as fierce as the competition on the court. And let’s not forget the time Zippy crashed Steve’s wedding reception!

Paul’s a sports fanatic through and through. But ask him his favorite spot, and he’ll tell you it’s FirstEnergy Stadium during a soccer match. He says there’s something magical about watching the game while gazing out at the campus.

As for Steve, well, he says he and Paul have no plans of giving up their season tickets anytime soon. They’re in it for the long haul, supporting the Zips through thick and thin. “We believe in them,” Steve says with a grin.

Chalker Fadel

Chalker Fadel ’56, ’70, is a true-blue Zips fan with a heart of gold. For more than 20 years, he’s been a fixture at football and men’s basketball games, proudly holding his season tickets.

Hailing from Akron, Fadel knows the campus like the back of his hand. Back in the day, he juggled soccer games with his civil engineering studies, proving his dedication early on.

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As a proud graduate, Fadel’s roots run deep. He put in the hours as a student worker for (then-dean) President Guzetta and pulled night shifts managing the student center, all while being an active member of the Lambda Chi fraternity. After earning a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Industrial Management, he served in the Air Force before returning to earn a Master of Business Administration.

Being a season ticket holder isn’t just about catching games for Fadel; it’s about staying connected and giving back. Favorite memories include hanging out inside with other football season ticket holders when the weather got too cold, and dining in the Tommy Evans Lounge before basketball games with other fans. “I enjoyed when Coach (Keith) Dambrot and his family would come
in and address the group. We also often had access to the coaches after the games at the University Club.”

But Fadel’s love for the Zips goes beyond the games. He’s on a mission to share that UA spirit with everyone he knows. “I make it a point to bring along friends to the games, introducing them to the Zips family,” he says with a smile. “It’s more than just sports; it’s about seeing old friends and making new ones."

Story by Cristine Boyd