Plans Submitted To Turn Long Vacant Big Buck Brewery On I-75 Into Fowling Venue

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According to a post by the Director of Community Development of Auburn Hills, Steve Cohen, the long vacant Big Buck Brewery off of I-75 may soon be redone and called the “HUB.”

An application has been submitted to the City of Auburn Hills to transform the dilapidated building, located at 2550 Takata Drive, into a “football-bowling” entertainment venue anticipated to be named the “HUB.”  The interior will include 16 courts with spectating and eating areas, along with two bars, fast casual restaurant, and two private function rooms.

We’re calling “Football Bowling” what it usually is referred to – Fowling. Fowling took off in the area in part thanks to the success of the 34,000 square foot Fowling Warehouse in Hamtramck.

If you don’t know what Fowling is, it’s the combination of throwing a Football to knock over some bowling pins. It is often done at tailgate parties and, at least according to Wikipedia, is a Detroit invention, created by Fowling Warehouse owner Chris Hutt. There’s even an American Fowling Association, that lays out these specs for the game:

Fowling matches are played with 2 wooden platforms, 20 bowling pins and a regulation size football.

The lane surface shall be a 42″ x 96″ rectangle constructed of half inch plywood fastened to a 2” x 4” wood frame edge. For ease of transportation, lanes made of two 42” x 48” plywood boards may also be used as long as they are correctly fastened together during tournament play. AFA sanctioned tournaments should only be played on wooden fowling lanes due to significant variance in play for different surface materials. Each game consists of two lanes placed 32 ft. apart between the front edge of the lanes, facing each other. It is recommended that adjacent lanes be spaced at least 15 ft. apart from each other.

Bowling pins should be standard regulation size and weight and arrange in the standard, triangular bowling pin formation with equidistant 12” spacing between each pin from center to center.

Footballs must meet pro or college regulation size and weight standards for tournament play.

Details are still scant on the Auburn Hills “HUB” venue, and more will be revealed next month at the September 14 Auburn Hills planning commission meeting, with approval that could come as early as September 26.

  • This place is not legit! Stealing someone else’s idea is not cool- you need to work with the originators of fowling (it’s trademarked!) from the fowling warehouse to franchise and do it the RIGHT WAY!

  • Don’t mean to rain on anyone’s parade, but once we saw these comments we thought we’d look into the trademark idea – and it turns out there have been some decisions not in Mr. Hutt’s favor as of a writing of April of this year from the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) – and that “Fowling” so far by the trademark office may have been decided as a term as common as “Hockey” or “Baseball.”

    Excerpt of link:

    “In a nutshell, the PTO’s position is that, as a result of substantial unchecked use of the term by the public at large, the word “fowling” has become the common descriptive name for a sport that combines American football and bowling. In other words, fowling is no more a trademark than baseball, basketball, or hockey. It matters little that Mr. Hutt invented the sport if he then allowed the name to be used descriptively by third parties for the next 10-12 years.

    The applications are still in the examination process but the lesson here is clear—the time to think about trademark protection is when you first conceive of a product or service and prior to the time you go to market.”

    To be clear, that does not mean there is no trademark. Haven’t been able to find out more past that point of denial in April of 2016 so far. A fact-checker will make some calls and see what the story is.

    That said, although the sport is commonly referred to as “Fowling,” the Auburn Hills venue is using the words “Football-Bowling.”

  • We reached out to the folks at Fowling Warehouse to get their side of the story. The only response we received via email was “We are aware of the article and situation, and are assessing it properly.” So no direct clarity on the issue at hand.

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