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Official Review by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Roy Kidd Stadium on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky may be one of the most unusual looking football stadiums in college football. The home of the Colonels football program is a nine-story structure that seats 20,000 plus and is separated into upper and lower seating that suspends fans over the field of action.
The trapezoid-shaped structure is slanted in such a way that fans on the lower level are on top of the action and folks in the upper level are provided views of the mountains in the distance. The narrow press box stands 94 feet above the playing field.
Built in 1969 and originally named Hanger Field, the stadium features a few nods to its late 1960’s roots: gunpowder gray seats, plenty of sharp right angles, and interior signage that looks like it is straight from an abandoned shopping mall. There are also plenty of ramps that lead fans from its entrance to the top levels of the structure. It is a facility that includes racquetball and basketball courts, a gymnasium, and classroom space for 2,000 students.
There have been a few updates to the stadium that include synthetic turf, new Daktronics LED video display board, and a custom audio system. Grass seating is available on the eastern portion of the end zone and along with bleacher seating for visiting fans. The football program has produced a record of 204-46-1 and two national championships (1979 and 1982) since its inception.
A blend of the old and new provides for a suitable venue for today’s college football spectator.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
There are a three concession booths inside the heart of the stadium and offer hot dogs, nachos, peanuts, drinks, and walking tacos for a reasonable price point of $4. Grilled hot dogs and brats are served from a cart off the main ramp near the entrance for around the same price. The small concession areas are all located within proximity of one another underneath the covered grandstand area.
Unfortunately my most recent visit was at homecoming during a wet Saturday afternoon in Richmond and most likely did not see what the folks at EKU had to offer. There was a nice gathering for fans in the lower section and a few more sprinkled upstairs on the upper deck. I did collect a favorable perception from the patrons who were decked out in maroon and silver (a great color combo by the way) and would bet anything that on a warmer day the stadium would be packed. In case you show up without school colors, then check out the small souvenir stand near the concession booths.
On the field the school's official mascot, "The Colonel," leads both the cheerleaders and marching band during drives, breaks in the action, and halftime performances.
Roy Kidd Stadium is right on campus and adjacent to the basketball arena, McBrayer Arena. It is an easy walk for students and alumni to enjoy football at their school. As for the downtown, that is a different story. There is not too much action. Just north of campus on Main Street, or about a mile from McBrayer Arena, are several bars and grills. Jerzees, Madison Garden, and Paddy Wagon Irish Pub are all in this area and known as gathering places.
The fans are a devoted bunch who will brave the wet and damp weather to watch the Colonels play a football game. The lower level is the best place to watch the game and talk with a few folks who might conjure up a few good stories about the program. It is hard to spot an individual who is not wearing maroon at the game.
Attending and parking at the facility is rather very simple. There is a large parking lot that serves the football field and other sports venues that is a short walk to Roy Kidd Stadium. There is not a fee to enter and leaving to get back to the highway might require the use GPS system on your car or on your phone. However, the interstate signage is highly visible to ensure everyone an easy and quick ride home.
EKU practices the advance ticket discount offer that will knock off a couple of dollars for advance sales. However, if you are buying tickets the day or the game expect to pay $13 and $15 for general admission and reserve sections. If you are with children between 4-12-years of age, prices are only $6. These prices are comparable to other college football programs of this size, but give me a good old fashion $10 ticket and I will be happy. The prices would not prohibit me from returning to a game in the future.
I enjoyed the look and feel of the facility as it reminded me of many buildings from my youth: public library, old shopping mall, and even a little bit of Giants Stadium. With new facilities being built at all levels of the college football universe, there will continue to be a lot of talk about Roy Kidd Stadium for future supporters.
The name of the stadium itself is named in honor of former head coach and College Football Hall of Famer Roy Kidd who coached the Colonels from 1964-2002, producing a record of 314-124-8 record and 16 Ohio Valley Conference titles. Kidd led the team to four straight national championship games between 1978-1982, winning twice in 1979 and 1982. In 39 seasons, his teams only suffered two losing campaigns. A career that is deserving to be adorned on a football stadium, perhaps we could use a little more on all levels of sports.
This is an interesting facility that should continue to suffice the needs of football enthusiasts on the campus of Eastern Kentucky for years to come. If you're in the area, consider a visit to Roy Kidd Stadium.
Member Review by Colonel 17 on Jan 17, 2014
Crowds can be sparse at times, the fans that are there are very loyal. Not sure where the original reviewer got the grade for access and says you need a gps, you exit the parking lot turn right, go about 2 miles and get on I-75. Personally I have never been to a stadium with easier access to it. The building has had great return on investment since it is not even technically a football stadium. What is the home side of the stadium is a classroom building with seating on the slanted roof, a very slick way of getting a stadium when the state would not give money for it, but would for a classroom building.Atmosphere outside the stadium is great with a huge turnout to tailgate from students, a large portion never make it in the game but it does create a nice setting outside. Also not real sure where the mountains are that the reviewer looked at, Richmond is pretty flat sitting in the foothills, not many mountains around. New video board and sound system are very nice
122 E Main St
Richmond, KY 40475
152 N Madison Ave
Richmond, KY 40475
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