Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.86
Roy Kidd Stadium Roy and Sue Kidd Way Richmond, KY 40475
Year Opened: 1969
Roy Kidd Stadium is in a League of its Own
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.
Built in 1969 and originally named Hanger Field, the stadium features a few nods to its late 1960s 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.
A few updates have been made to the stadium that include synthetic turf, a new Daktronics LED video display board and a custom audio system. Grass seating is available on the eastern portion of the end zone, along with bleacher seating for visiting fans. The football program has produced a record of 225-58-1 and two national championships (1979 and 1982) since its inception.
Food & Beverage 3
There are three main concession stands inside the structure near the entrance of the stadium that offer the standard array of menu items including hot dogs ($4), pretzels ($4), popcorn ($6), pizza ($5.50), cheeseburgers ($6), and nachos ($4.50). The stadium also serves up giant smoked turkey legs ($6), fried chicken sandwiches ($5.50), and walking tacos ($4.50) to add into the mix of food items. During the cold months, cups of hot cocoa and coffee hit the spot for $4 each.
The stadium offers cans of beers on the newly renovated visitors’ side for $5. The options include Bud, Bud Light, Miller Light, Coors Light, and Rolling Rock. This is the only section of the stadium where fans can both purchase and drink alcoholic beverages. Local Apollo Pizza sets up a food truck just outside the main entrance in this section for more variety.
Roy Kidd Stadium offers a unique, architecturally-design structure that stands out along the main street of campus. The look and feel are of its time in 1969. The stadium features a system of ramps that lead fans from the small ticket windows to the main concourse, this system of ramps also lead fans to the upper level seating section (closed off during our visit) and to the lawn section of the stadium.
The main concourse is fully enclosed from the upper level section of seats and provides a somewhat sterile atmosphere with signage that looks as if it dates from the stadium’s first season of operation. There are large wall photographs of Roy Kidd himself who won 314 games at the school from 1964 to 2002; he also has a statue near the lawn seats behind the north end zone. There are a small merchandise stand and an information booth.
Outside in the seating area is a collection of fans who add much life to the building; the steep seating area puts fans almost above the playing field and atop of the gridiron action. Due to the upper level seating closed off, the majority of fans create a lively atmosphere in the lower seats of the stadium. An LED video display is situated on the south end zone of the stadium.
Expansion in 2017 on the east side of the stadium added over 3,000 new bleachers and a concourse that features modern concessions and bathroom facilities. Also, a new pedestrian-only walkway was constructed from the hill beyond the north end zone that leads onto the concourse level. This area of seating provides a great view of the main grandstand structure and design; here fans can see the signage that honors the 1979 and 1982 National Champion plaques and are close to the action of the play on the field.
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 cold weather to watch the Colonels play a football game. Much of the noise generated is from these fans who are a devoted bunch. It is hard to spot an individual who is not wearing maroon at the game.
There is a large parking lot that serves the football field and other sports venues that is a short walk to Roy Kidd Stadium. The stadium features a unique series of ramps–a product of its time–and no elevators. This could be a hindrance to fans who have trouble walking, but the staff provides golf carts that lead them to their seats. The bathrooms include separate entrances and exits.
Return on Investment 3
EKU ticket prices are $13 general admission, $18 for lawn reserve, and $8 for youth (ages 4-12). No parking fee is charged for games and concession prices are rather affordable. A tall can of beer is $5, a pretty fair price at a college football game.
The stadium design is of a great curiosity, the design and feel of the structure can be somewhat cumbersome, but is still fascinating to view signage, doorways, and ramps that date back to the stadium’s original season 50-years ago.
The updated visitor side bleacher area creates a modern touch for football games at Roy Kidd Stadium. The concession stand that serves beer is close to the seats and the views of the main grandstand add to the vibe. There is a large lawn seating area that is ideal for warmer days at the beginning of the season.
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.