Photos by Joseph Oakes, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00
E. Claiborne Robins Stadium 23B Boatwright Dr Richmond, VA 23173
Year Opened: 2010
Richmond Spider’s Web
Robins Stadium opened on September 18, 2010, when Richmond knocked off Elon in overtime 27-21, in front of a sellout crowd. The stadium is named for E. Claiborne Robins, in recognition of decades of support to the University of Richmond athletics program. In addition to being the home of Spider football, it is also the home of Richmond’s lacrosse and track and field programs. The all-brick façade of the stadium fits in well with the surrounding campus buildings. Despite seating less than 10,000 fans, the stadium is beautiful, and intimate, and serves as the perfect home for the Spider football program.
Food & Beverage 5
A wide variety of concession items are available at Robins Stadium for reasonable prices. Concession items range from hot dogs ($3.50), hamburgers ($4.50), cheeseburgers ($5.50), chicken tenders ($5.50), steak and cheese subs ($7.00), Papa John’s 8” Pizza ($10), and Italian Sausage Sub ($7). Also available is the Spider Special for $5, which changes each week and features a food item from the opposing team’s home state. When we attended, the Spider Special has Loaded Tater Tots. Side items include fries ($3), fried pickles ($5), nachos with cheese and salsa ($5), popcorn ($3), caramel corn ($4), soft pretzel ($4), and peanuts ($3). Healthy items such as mixed fruit cups ($4) and veggie cups with ranch dip ($4) are also available. A gluten-free bun can be substituted on any sandwich for $2 extra. There is also the RVA Combo Meal which is 1 hot dog or 2 chicken tenders, fries, and a small drink for $5. This is a great value.
Pepsi products are offered as fountain drinks and are $3.50 or $4.50 depending on the size. Bottled water ($3.50), coffee ($2.00), and hot chocolate ($2) are also available.
Cash and credit/debit cards are accepted at the concession stands, and the lines move quickly. Robins Stadium also offers GrubHub, where you can order ahead of time and just go pick it up from the concession when it is ready.
Robins Stadium features split-level grandstands on each side of the playing field, with the east grandstands being slightly higher than the west grandstands. Atop the west grandstands sit the suites, while the press box sits atop the west grandstands. There are three sections of chairback seats between the 30s in the west grandstands. All the other seats in the stadium are bench back. One interesting item of note is that the Richmond team bench is on the west sideline, opposite the pressbox. The playing surface consists of field turf, with the giant spider logo at midfield. New for the 2021 season is a large 60’ by 28’ LED video board that stands 75 feet above the north endzone. It features both replay and live video, in-game stats, and out-of-town scores (which is updated throughout the game!). There is a track surrounding the field, but it does not take away from the experience of the game. This is due to the fact the first row of seats is elevated quite a bit above the field level, providing great sightlines for even the lower rows.
While the University of Richmond, does not have a marching band, they have a different area high school band performs pregame and at halftime on the field. They also play in the stands throughout the game. After each Richmond score, a large bell on the east grandstand rings.
Due to the size of Robins Stadium and with most seats being either chairback or bench-back, there is not a bad seat in the house. Sightlines are great from anywhere in the stadium.
Robins Stadium sits in the northern part of campus near the Robins Center (home of Richmond basketball) and Pitt Field (home of Richmond baseball). Many of the parking lots in the vicinity of these three venues fill up with tailgaters before the game. The campus is beautiful, clean, and well-kept up. Westhampton Lake is a short walk from the stadium and is a great place to bike or jog around. There is also a bridge that crosses the lake with a nice gazebo on one side.
Richmond is the capital city, so in the downtown area, there are many museums and the capitol building, that can be visited. If you are looking for a variety of shopping or dining options, take a 15-minute drive to the Short Pump area which offers several restaurants and a two-level outdoor mall.
Marriott is the official hotel of the Spiders, so if you are looking to spend the night check out the Visitors Guide for a list of Marriott hotels in the Richmond area that offer special U of R rates.
While the Spiders’ fan base may not be as large as some FCS powers, they are undoubtedly a passionate and committed bunch. While many games sell out, the crowd is upscale and many seem to view it as a social event. That said, there are some die-hard fans that are into the game and get loud after big plays and on third downs. However, overall the crowd would not be described as raucous.
Being on campus, Robins Stadium can be a little difficult to find, but if you point your GPS to the address for Robins Stadium you shouldn’t have a problem. Not familiar with the campus or where to go once you park? No problem. There are signs around campus directing you to the stadium and how many minutes walk it is. Many of the parking lots surrounding the stadium and reserved for Spiders’ donors, but general parking is well-marked and is free. When we attended, however, all the general lots were full, and the campus police told us we could park anywhere on campus we could find!
There are entrance gates on the east and west sidelines and in the south endzone. Bags are checked upon entrance, but the attendants are friendly. All tickets are now mobile tickets; this created a backup when we attended as the scanners were having a hard time reading people’s phones due to the sun’s glare. This created quite a backup just before kickoff at each gate. The concourses under each grandstand are clean and spacious. The restrooms are also clean. Handicap seating is available on each side of the stadium.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets are $30-$40 for conference games. This may seem a little high for FCS, but given the quality of competition in the CAA, this is not too bad. Concession prices are also reasonable and parking is free.
Robins Stadium has several features that give it extra points that are worth noting. First, is the friendliness of the staff, from ticket takers to ushers to concession workers. These folks were all extra friendly and thanked us for coming to the game.
A second extra point is for the free game program. A third extra point is for the free parking at various points around campus and the friendly parking staff that help direct you to where these areas are.
There is also a Spider rock near the Spider Walk the players touch as they enter the field.
The family fun zone in the north end zone is a big extra for those of us with small kids. This area has giant inflatables, games, balloon artists, and face paint. This area is right below the giant video board, so you don’t miss any of the action while in the family fun zone. The GrubHub option ensures that you can get concessions without waiting in line!
The CAA is one of the top football conferences in the FCS, and the Spiders are often competitive in the league. This ensures that you will see competitive, high-quality football on any visit to Robins Stadium. Combine this with a beautiful stadium, passionate fans, and affordable prices, you have a great football experience in the capital city of Virginia. While FBS programs such as Virginia Tech and Virginia are definitely more well-known in the state, a visit to Robins Stadium is definitely a must for college football fans in the Commonwealth.