There are no tickets available at this time.
Official Review by Sean Rowland, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Located in the quaint, serene West End of Virginia’s State Capital, the University of Richmond has developed a reputation as a basketball giant killer. Fitting, given their unique athletic nickname and the tendency for Spiders to do the same thing. Richmond is the only school to win as a 12, 13, 14 and 15 seed in the NCAA Tournament and their most recent achievement came during the 2011 Tournament, when the team reached the Sweet 16. The Robins Center hosts the school’s basketball games and the facility is named after one of the most significant benefactors in the United States, E. Claiborne Robins. Built in 1972, the arena underwent a $17 million renovation in 2013 that turned the Robins Center into one of the best facilities in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The interior design features excellent sightlines for fans and other aesthetics are just as well done.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Several concession stands are built into the walls of the concourse and while that means food is very accessible, the menu is quite boring. Each stand features the same assortment of items including: Hot Dogs ($3), Burgers ($4 - $5), BBQ Sandwiches ($4) and Pizza ($7). There are the usual snacks as well. A few portable carts are dotted on the sides of the concourse and these try to add a bit of pizzazz. Various subs and wraps can be purchased and there are also some vegetarian offerings. Those looking for sweets can find the Sweet Frog Yogurt cart or the one for Brusters Ice Cream. The beverage provider is Coca-Cola and there is no alcohol served at the arena.
Inside the Robins Center is a seating arrangement that is wonderfully designed for fans. The one-level structure features a steep seating set-up, rounded corners and rows that go from the floor to the ceiling, which all combine to ensure that the fan has an excellent visual to the court. The renovation a few years back replaced the existing chairs with very comfortable blue seats that are both wide and cushy. Also enhanced is the building's aesthetics as the shades of blue and red, along with the University's wordmarks and logos go a long way. Premium seating is in the form of four upper corner boxes that do not get in the way of the general fan. These large boxes are incorporated into the design as the use of brick matches the campus architecture. Each brick front also includes a very large scoreboard that features crystal clear video and images.
A decent crowd usually accompanies each Richmond game and the Robins Center is engaged well throughout the game. While only the biggest games (see VCU) feature a building that gets crazy loud, the arena does have some energy, especially noticeable toward the end of a close contest. The cleverly-named pep band, "Sticky Situation," plays at various times during the event, adding entertainment. Fans can expect to see the typical assortment of promotions and games during breaks in play, but one in particular is a little different and very cute. At halftime, a promotion called "Diaper Derby" saw the floor filled with babies and the first one to crawl and reach their parent would win a Virginia529 college savings plan, starting with $529 in the account.
The city of Richmond is the fourth largest in Virginia and in addition to being the State's Capital, it is also a city full of historical significance. The Civil War era was particularly important in the city's history as Richmond was Capital of the Confederacy. Many reminders of this period can be found throughout the area and they are worth taking a day to visit. Make sure to drive down Monument Ave, where a series of statues culminates with the impressive one for Robert E. Lee. Downtown, the center of Richmond includes the Museum of the Confederacy, while a few blocks away is the beautiful State Capitol and its adjacent grounds. Touring the building is free and it is well worth it.
The University does not feel like it is within the city, as the far West End section of Richmond is very suburban in nature. Campus is tucked into a hilly, leafy area and the actual school grounds are quite scenic. Centered by Westhampton Lake, the school makes for a pleasant walk with plenty of green space and a consistent, appealing architecture. Leaving UR, the main section for a bite to eat is on Grove Ave, about a mile off campus. Hipster, trendy restaurants like The Blue Goat, The Continental and Jack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint all offer quality options before or after game.
Richmond supports the Spiders well and even though they may not be the most popular team in RVA, the Robins Center fills up nicely for games. Annually, Richmond ranks fourth or fifth in the Atlantic 10's attendance standings and there are a few times per season when tickets are sold out. Only during the game against local rival VCU is every single seat filled as a raucous environment ensues. Otherwise, the Robins Center features an average amount of noise and energy as any spontaneous bursts of cheering is rare. The building seems to be loudest when the scoreboard flashes a "Noise Meter" after every basket and all the children respond. I attended a weekend game in February featuring a Richmond team around .500 against a similar opponent and while the fan turnout was decent, the amount of students was disappointing. Only a handful showed up and they remained seated behind the basket for most of the game. A more consistent turnout from them (not just for rivalry or televised games) would certainly enhance the experience.
Richmond is a very accessible city as the major interstates in Virginia lead to the Capital, however it requires some navigation to reach UR. From I-64, it takes about 10 minutes and the roads closer to campus become winding with name changes and various forks. Even with a GPS, it is easy to incorrectly veer onto another road and you may just be better following the posted signs. The arena is on the north side of campus and there is plenty of parking throughout, though the closest lots are reserved for season seat holders. If you arrive early (and the game is on the weekend), a spot can be found in the athletic section and signs are posted to denote basketball parking lots. If these spaces are full, then attendees need to park in the southern lots, where a bus shuttle brings fans to and from the Robins Center. Postgame, police direct cars to help the traffic, but you may not be allowed to go out the way you came in. Check the school's athletic website for well-designed flow maps.
Inside the Robins Center, the concourse circles the entire arena and the space is wide enough to generally accommodate most crowds. Bathrooms are spaced evenly and any lines that develop are quick to move.
The entire Richmond basketball experience is affordable and it begins with free parking. Inside, fans are greeted with a complimentary program and a game ticket is either $12 or $22. The Atlantic 10 conference offers quality competition and Richmond usually has a decent non-conference foe visit the Robins Center each season. Attending a game here is well worth the overall cost.
Richmond is the only college in the country with the athletic nickname "Spiders." The story of how that happened is over 100 years old as the University describes the nickname as being started by a newspaper writer who nicknamed a pitcher on a baseball team of UR athletes, "The Spider." This evolved into Richmond having a unique nickname well before it became cliché to do so.
Of course, with a name like "Spiders" there is a lot that the game day department can do. Vignettes on the scoreboard are the best example and the quirky videos with "Tarrant" are certainly entertaining (as long as you do not have arachnophobia).
Another point goes to the "Fun Zone" section of the concourse. This space is solely for kids and while it can get a little crazy, it is great for families that struggle with little ones sitting for two hours.
The Robins Center was vastly improved with a significant renovation a few years ago as fan comfort, aesthetics and access were all addressed. Better yet, the addition of luxury club spaces were done in a tasteful way that did not interfere with fans buying an individual ticket. The game experience is good and the city supports the Spiders well. Richmond has one of the best arenas in the Atlantic 10 and checking out a game is worth the visit.
Follow all of Sean's journeys at Stadium and Arena Visits.
Member Review by bullock0404 on Mar 19, 2013
For 40 seasons, the Robins Center has been home to the Richmond Spiders of the Atlantic 10 Conference. Prior to joining the A-10 in 2001, the Spiders played in the Colonial Athletic Association for 17 seasons, and found their greatest success in program history during this time. Eight of those seasons found ‘U of R’ either winning the regular season or tournament championship; in 1988, they did both! It was during this run that they pulled off the biggest upset (by seeding) at the time in NCAA history - a #15 defeating a #2! That victory against Syracuse will never be forgotten by the Spider faithful, and is often mentioned in sportscasts each March as past ‘bracket-busters’ are discussed.
The Robins Center isn’t only about sporting events. It also hosted a debate during the 1992 Presidential campaign that included Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot and was the first ‘town hall’ format in televised U.S. Presidential debate history.
Member Review by Joakes on Mar 04, 2015
The Robins Center on the campus of the University of Richmond was constructed at a cost of about $12 million back in 1972. On top of being home to Richmond basketball for over 42 years, the Robins Center also hosted George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Ross Perot in what was the first ever televised ‘town hall’ style Presidential debate prior to the 1992 election. Also on the list of notable guests for this arena are President Obama in 2011 and former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev back in 1993.
In 2013-14, the Robins Center underwent $17 million worth of renovations that saw the capacity reduced from 9,071 to 7,201, with a new ceiling, new LED lighting, four 15’ by 33’ HD video scoreboards in each corner of the seating bowl, and 7,600 square feet of VIP hospitality seating around the top of the seating bowl.
9202 Stony Point Pkwy
Richmond, VA 23235
11788 W Broad St
Henrico, VA 23233
3500 1/2 W Cary St
Richmond, VA 23221
2900 W Cary St
Richmond, VA 23221
5704 Grove Ave.
Richmond, VA 23226
There are no local entertainment entries. Help us build with your expertise!
There are no local lodging entries. Help us build with your expertise!