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  • Writer's picturePaul Baker

Meade Stadium - Rhode Island Rams

Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.00

Meade Stadium

Keaney Ave.

Kingston, RI 02881

Year Opened: 1928

Capacity: 6,555

Rhode Trip

Meade Stadium, home of the University of Rhode Island Rams football team, is located on the URI campus in Kingston, Rhode Island. It is named after class of 1915 alum, booster, and local politician John E. “Jack” Meade, who was rumored to never have missed a home game from the time he attended URI until his death in 1972.

Meade Stadium opened in 1928 and has gone through numerous renovations over its history. The most recent improvements have included the construction of the west grandstand and locker rooms as part of the Thomas J. Ryan Center in 2000, a massive renovation to the press box in 2003 and the installation of a new synthetic turf field and lighting in 2019.

Football teams have represented URI since 1895. A longtime member of Division 1-AA/FCS, the Rams have qualified for the playoffs on three occasions, most recently in 1985. URI football now competes in the Colonial Athletic Association alongside other eastern universities. 20 Rams alumni have played in the National Football League.

Food & Beverage 4

The concessions at Meade Stadium are a mix of permanent stands, pop-up tents and food trucks.

The stands inside the Ryan Center directly behind the west grandstand are open for Ram football games. In addition to these stands, Rhody Eats (the URI dining service) operates some pop-up tents which sell specialty hot dogs and sausage sandwiches.

Menu variety is achieved by the placement of several food trucks scattered around the south end zone. During Stadium Journey’s most recent visit, food trucks offering BBQ, tacos, mac and cheese and of course, this being Rhode Island, lobster rolls were on display.

Coca-Cola products are sold at Meade Stadium. Certain stands have beer and wine available. In addition to national brands Bud Light and Michelob Ultra, local favorites from Narragansett and Whalers brewery are featured.

Atmosphere 3

A football game at basic Meade Stadium in rural Kingston, Rhode Island isn’t the place to go for an extravagant game day experience. What you’ll get at a URI football game is exactly what feels right here. It’s a laid back, simple and enjoyable place to spend a fall afternoon.

All the elements college football fans would expect to find at a small stadium can be found at Meade Stadium. The pep band performs throughout the afternoon, along with the cheerleaders and dance squad. There’s a decent turnout by the student body, but they don’t really add much to the gameday atmosphere. A Rams crowd is full of alumni and families rooting hard for the team down on the field.

A simple scoreboard in the south end zone displays basic game information. Music plays over a solid sound system when the band isn’t playing. A unique feature about coming to Meade Stadium is that you’ll want to be in the shady west stands early in the season, but in the sunny east stands later in the year as the weather cools.

Neighborhood 2

Given the University of Rhode Island’s rural location, there are not many dining or lodging options available adjacent to Meade Stadium. Those willing to travel a short distance will find many restaurants or places of interest nearby. The Mews Tavern in nearby Wakefield boasts 69 beers on taps and an extensive bar menu. It is a favorite of the student body. The Matunuck Oyster Bar is a favorite for locally sourced seafood. In addition, Narragansett, located 8 miles to the south, Newport, 16 miles to the east, and Providence, 29 miles to the north, offer a wide variety of dining, lodging, and tourist options for the adventurous football fan.

There are no lodging options directly adjacent to the URI campus, so fans looking to stay near URI overnight will need to look elsewhere. There are some options in nearby South Kingstown (yes, Kingston and Kingstown are two different places) and beyond. Fans looking to make a weekend of their trip to URI would be advised to check out Newport or Providence, both short drives from campus.

Fans 3

Attendance at Rhode Island football games has been on the rise in recent seasons along with the improvement of the Rams. Traditionally Rhode Island averages between 5,000-6,000 fans per game, which is a bit below the CAA average.

There is a decent turnout from the student body, even if they don’t add a whole lot to the game day atmosphere. The majority of the crowd at Meade Stadium consists of locals and alumni who have been coming to Kingston for years. Rhode Island is a small state, after all, and it doesn’t take long to get to URI, no matter from what part of the state you are coming.

Access 3

Meade Stadium is located on the western side of the URI campus in Kingston, Rhode Island. The small town of Kingston is located 29 miles south of Providence and 20 minutes south of T.F. Green Airport. Driving to Kingston from Providence will take you about 40 minutes on a normal Saturday. The campus is located on Route 138, approximately a 10-mile drive from I-95 as it passes through southern Rhode Island. The URI campus is well-served by public transportation, with several RIPTA bus routes serving the campus from Providence. In addition, the Kingstown train station is about two miles away from campus, with Amtrak making regular stops at the station.

Parking around Meade Stadium is plentiful and inexpensive. Lots that permit tailgating are located next to the stadium. It will cost $15 for a tailgating permit. Parking lots further away from Meade Stadium are free of charge. The tailgating scene at URI is decidedly laid back. Fans will enter Meade Stadium via one of three entrances located around the facility.

Seating at Meade Stadium consists of a large grandstand on the east side of the stadium and a smaller grandstand on the west side. Seating in the east grandstand consists of metal bleachers without backs. This is not the most accessible seating area you’ll come across. The old wooden grandstand features lots of stairs, high steps and unpaved walkways. The newer west grandstand is attached to the Ryan Center, with individual stadium seats in the center sections. The two sides of the facility are connected via a walkway on the south side of the stadium. There is plenty of standing room here, as well as tents available at field level.

The amenities at Meade Stadium vary depending on which side of the stadium you are sitting. Concession stands and rest rooms on the west side of the stadium are older but will still meet your needs. On the east side of the stadium, the concession stands and rest rooms are located inside the Ryan Center. These are much more modern and plentiful.

Return on Investment 4

Rhode Island football games are divided into two categories: Standard and Premium. Ticketing for Standard games is priced at $20 per ticket for general admission bleacher seating in the east grandstand, $30 for reserved bleacher seats in the west grandstand and $35 for reserved individual seats in the west grandstand. All ticket prices are increased by $10 for Premium games, which are generally the Alumni/Family weekends.

Parking is available in the many lots on either side of Meade Stadium. Many lots are designated as free lots. If you wish to park in one of the tailgating lots closest to the stadium, permits for these lots cost $15.

Extras 2

The cannon which is fired after all Rams scores has moved to a corner of the north end zone but is still a prominent feature at Meade Stadium. Fans of the nearby New England Patriots may think of the crew donning Revolutionary War-era garb as a scaled-down version of Gillette Stadium’s end zone militia.

Banners hanging along the back of the north end zone honor Ram All-Americans, conference titles and tournament appearances.

Final Thoughts

Meade Stadium, originally constructed in 1928, is an interesting mix of old and new. Whether you sit in the shady new stands attached to the Ryan Center or the older grandstand basking in the sun, a fall afternoon in Kingston is guaranteed to be a laid-back, comfortable experience.

Follow Paul Baker’s stadium journeys on Twitter and Instagram @PuckmanRI.

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