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  • Joseph Oakes

The Diamond - VCU Rams

Photo courtesy of VCU Athletics.

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.14

The Diamond 3001 North Blvd Richmond, VA 23230

VCU Rams website The Diamond website

Year Opened: 1985 Capacity: 3,200

The Ram’s Diamond

Stadium Journey conducted this review in April 2021, when COVID restrictions were still in place in Virginia. Fans were required to wear masks at all times, except while eating or drinking, and seating was reduced and socially distanced in pods. All these restrictions have now been relaxed.

Virginia Commonwealth University is located in Richmond, VA. The school is probably best known for its basketball team who went from the first four to the final four in 2011. However, the baseball team has had postseason success as well winning five CAA and two A10 conference tournament championships (including the 2021 regular season and tournament championship), and appearing in twelve NCAA regionals. VCU plays its home games at The Diamond, which it shares with the double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, the Richmond Flying Squirrels.

Food & Beverage 4

There are many concession stands at The Diamond; however, for VCU games the main concession stand on the first base side is the only one open. This is sufficient for most VCU games, but when we attended, VCU was playing UVA and the concession line stayed pretty full.

Expect typical stadium food such as hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken tenders. The prices run from $2.50 to $6.50. All of these can also be sold as a combo which includes a 20 oz Pepsi product and small fries for $5 more. A couple of extra items of note that stand out include BBQ Pork Nachos and BBQ Pork Cheese Fries and Papa John’s Pizza. Beverages include bottled Pepsi products for $4. Beer is also available in 16 oz and 32 oz domestic drafts.

Atmosphere 3

The Diamond is a huge chunk of concrete that resembles a cut-out of the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. The stadium was built in 1985 and its age definitely shows, and it is a stadium whose time has passed. However, when the Flying Squirrels moved into the stadium in 2010, all 3,200 seats in the lower bowl were replaced. Normally, the lower bowl is all that is open for VCU games and gives you somewhat more of an intimate experience, since only a few hundred fans attend VCU games. However, the upper bowl is opened and seats are assigned for the annual game against UVA. Even though the seating is normally general admission, the majority of VCU fans will sit above the third-base dugout. The suites at The Diamond are also available for VCU games. Even though seating is normally limited to the lower bowl, The Diamond is just too big for VCU. The program would be better suited with a more intimate ballpark with a capacity of just 1,000-1,500.

Neighborhood 3

There is not much to do right around The Diamond. Across the street from the stadium is the Greyhound Bus Station, and on either side of the ballpark is the Arthur Ashe Athletic Center and Sports Backers Stadium, home of the VCU soccer team. There is really nowhere to eat within walking distance. Your best bet is to drive downtown on Arthur Ashe Boulevard where you will find several restaurants including Buz and Ned’s BBQ, Boulevard Burger and Brew, En Su Boca, and local favorite Gelati Celesti Ice Cream, among others. A couple of blocks away is ZZQ Texas Craft Barbecue. If you are looking for more food choices, head approximately two miles south to Carytown. There is also a movie theater nearby, Movieland at Boulevard Square, which is housed in an old manufacturing warehouse. Also, nearby is the Virginia Science Museum, and the Virginia History Museum.

Fans 3

For a typical VCU home game, expect approximately a couple hundred fans in attendance. When the Rams are hosting crosstown conference rival Richmond, you can expect close to 1,000 fans in attendance with the crowd being split about 50/50 Rams and Spiders fans. Once a year when VCU hosts Virginia, expect a crowd of 3,000-4,000 in attendance. Since VCU students get in for free, expect some student support, especially for weekend games. VCU fans are involved in the game and cheer at the appropriate times; however, the large ballpark makes it feel that there are fewer in attendance than there really are.

Access 4

The Diamond is located just off of Interstates 95 and 64 near downtown Richmond and is easy to get to from wherever you may be traveling from, including Richmond International Airport. For VCU games, there is plenty of free parking all around the ballpark. Tickets can be bought at the ticket window near the main entrance, with both cash and card accepted. Even though the concourses seem cramped and small, they do not get busy for VCU games. Restrooms are located on the first and third baselines and have diaper changing stations. There is an elevator near the main entrance for the handicapped, and a large handicapped seating area on the concourse level.

Return on Investment 4

Tickets for adults are $10 for all games except for games against UVA, which are $12. On Saturdays, the Rams offer a Family 4 pack for $50, which includes 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 fries, 4 drinks, and 4 t-shirts. VCU also offers season tickets for only $40, which is a can’t beat deal if you live in the Richmond area and enjoy college baseball! Free parking and affordable concessions make VCU baseball a great deal.

Extras 1

One extra point for the free game programs and rosters that are available.

By virtue of winning the 2021 Atlantic 10 regular-season championship, VCU earned the right to host the A10 Tournament at the Diamond.

Final Thoughts

While The Diamond is unmistakably the home of the Richmond Flying Squirrels, if you enjoy college baseball and are in the Richmond area, a VCU game is a fun, entertaining, and affordable experience.

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