With the goal of bringing sporting events back to campus, this stadium blends strong campus architectural themes with modern amenities on a historic campus.
The new E. Claiborne Robins Stadium on the University of Richmond campus provides students, alumni, and fans with an exciting multi-sport venue that will serve the University’s needs well into the future. In addition to football, the stadium supports soccer, lacrosse, and track programs and has the ability to host single game and tournament competitions.
Designed to enhance the “game-day experience” on campus, the stadium naturally coexists with the present topography and surrounding vegetation. Aesthetically, the exterior facade complements the collegiate gothic architecture of the University of Richmond and presents a timeless presence on the campus.
The total stadium capacity of approximately 9,000 is divided into three seating sections. The West Grandstands accommodates 3,732 patrons in general and club seating. The private boxes which cantilever over the main seating, adjacent to an indoor club entertainment area accommodate 192. Seasonal end-zone seating accommodate 1,929 patrons in seating that may be moved at the end of the fall sports season. The East Grandstands accommodate 2,824 patrons, and the press box cantilevered over the lower seating seat 23. Finally, the site accommodates 300 on-site personnel such as players, coaches, and service providers.
A Rich History
The University of Richmond, established in 1830, has occupied its current grounds since 1914. The campus is characterized by rolling hills that fit its surroundings in the Virginia Piedmont area, Westhampton Lake at its center, and a pattern of Collegiate Gothic architecture throughout. In 1910, the University of Richmond, which was then known as Richmond College, moved to the City’s West End.
As the University prepared to move, Boston architect Ralph Adams Cram was chosen to design the first seven buildings on the new campus while landscape architect Charles Gillette was put in charge of designing the grounds. Together, they established the style of the campus, which includes high-quality Collegiate Gothic architecture in a landscaped setting dominated by large canopy and pine trees, turf, and brick-paved sidewalks. These themes still hold true over 100 years later and came into play when the University decided to significantly expand the campus stadium in order to bring their football program, which had previously been playing in City Stadium, back on campus.
Bringing in the new to fit with the old
In the new $25 million stadium, students, alumni, and fans experience an exciting multi-sport venue that fits perfectly within the tight constraints of the site. The new stadium is located on the site of the former First Market Stadium at the northeast edge of campus adjacent to a main campus entrance. The track oval had been previously renovated with a new surface and the infield replaced with an all-weather synthetic grass system. The former concrete stands along the west side were demolished and used as fill materials for a separate campus project. The scale of the new facility is matched to the existing Robins Center, the campus indoor arena.