Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.86
Crenshaw Field 445 Westhampton Way Richmond, VA 23173
Year Opened: 2001 Capacity: 500
The Spiders Web
Located on the Westhampton side of the University of Richmond Campus, Crenshaw Field is home to the Spiders’ field hockey program. Although field hockey has been played on this spot for some time, Crenshaw Field as it exists today was constructed in 2001 following major renovations compared to what previously existed here. Multiple renovations have occurred since then including turf upgrades in 2011 and the addition of lights in 2014.
The Spiders are one of the most successful field hockey programs in the Atlantic 10 Conference, having won the conference tournament eight times, the most recent one coming right here at Crenshaw.
Food & Beverage 1
Free water bottles are available in a cooler as you come in. Beyond this, there is no food or beverage available, but it is a nice touch. Fans are permitted to bring in items for their own consumption, with the exception of alcohol.
Crenshaw Field has a unique layout. When coming into the stadium, you will pass through a field house facility which includes player locker rooms as well as restrooms and the press box. Beyond that, fans will find amphitheater-style seating rather than traditional bleachers. This means that fans will be seated on several rows of stone ledges, or on a hill above It if they wish. These are more comfortable than they look.
There is a scoreboard in the far right corner as you are facing the field which shows basic information. Beyond the field, fans have a view of beautiful brick buildings that make up the Richmond campus.
As college field hockey is not that big here or anywhere, there are few if any promotions going on before or during the game. This is just a chance to watch the sport in a unique setting, nothing more.
Richmond’s campus is about 20-30 minutes from downtown Richmond, right on the edge of the city limits. In fact, as fans of rival school VCU will love to point out, only about half of the University of Richmond campus is actually in the City of Richmond. The other half is in neighboring Henrico County. If you head down Three Chopt Road, there are a few restaurants and other places available, but your best bet is to head about three miles east on Route 147 to the Carytown neighborhood which has far more options available. We recommend the Galaxy Diner and Carytown Burgers and Fries as your best bets.
Although Crenshaw Field is a very small venue, it can get surprisingly full for a Spiders home game. Although it won’t get packed to the point of discomfort, fans fill most of the stone ledge area, with many more sitting above on the grassy knolls. Many of them are friends and family of the players, or are Richmond students themselves, and they cheer on the Spiders throughout the game. Visiting team fans also often have a strong presence here. When we visited, the Spiders were playing a team located over 500 miles away, and they still showed a good presence. Expect even more visiting fans if the Spiders are playing their crosstown foe VCU or other nearby schools like Old Dominion or UVA.
Getting to the Richmond campus is easy enough. It is conveniently located a couple miles off I-64, the Downtown Expressway, or the Powhite Parkway, depending on where you are coming from. The first route is toll-free but the second two have small tolls.
Unfortunately, once you get on campus, finding Crenshaw Field can be difficult. There are no signs directing you and many GPS apps will take you to the wrong side of the field and proclaim that you have arrived despite being nowhere near the entrance or parking. There is a lot directly outside the front gate, across the street from the soccer field, but putting in the address of the soccer field might not work either as GPS apps seem to have trouble with that too.
When you do find the parking, there is ample room in the lot and it is free. There are restrooms located in the field house near where you come in, which are small but of a sufficient size for the crowd that shows up.
Return on Investment 5
Admission is free and so is parking. If that were all, that would be a good deal, but there wouldn’t be enough here to get the top score. However, when you throw in the free bottled water for all fans, that’s enough to kick this score up a notch.
The free bottled water to help fans stay hydrated on hot days, particularly early in the season, is a nice touch.
Free programs are available at a table as you come in as well.
College field hockey simply isn’t a huge deal at Richmond or anywhere else in the country. However, Crenshaw Field is one of the most unique venues where fans can watch the sport, and one of the top venues in the Atlantic 10. While only the most dedicated sports fans would be willing to make a lengthy trip to check it out, for Spiders fans and those from the Richmond area in general, it is well worth checking out.