The last vestige of Riddick Stadium has finally outlived its usefulness.
For almost 50 years, students have used the old Riddick Stadium Field House as little more than a conduit to get to the tunnel under the railroad tracks. But next month, the field house will be demolished, taking the last bit of NC State’s early football history with it.
University planners say the field house — which once housed the campus police force and later was a headquarters for contractors working on nearby construction projects — has outlived its usefulness and fallen into disrepair. Its demolition will also make way for plans to improve pedestrian access and safety in the area near the railroad tunnel and on local streets.
The two-story, white masonry field house was built in 1936.
“The building has been innovatively repurposed over the years. But its useful life without major investment has come to an end,’’ says Kevin MacNaughton, vice chancellor for facilities. He noted that the university has placed a plaque along Stinson Drive noting where Riddick Stadium once stood.
The first game was played on what was then Riddick Field in 1907. In 1912, wooden bleachers and a grandstand were added and students voted to name the stadium for Wallace Carl Riddick, who coached the 1898 and 1899 football teams and later became the college’s president. In 1916, the wooden bleachers were replaced with concrete ones.
But with 20,000 seats, Riddick proved too small for the growing crowds of football fans, and in later years NC State played most of its games on the road. When Carter Stadium (now Carter-Finley) opened in 1966, Wolfpack football officially moved off campus.
The remains of Riddick have come down slowly. It wasn’t until 2005 that the last of the concrete bleachers were leveled, making way for SAS Hall.
As for the field house, MacNaughton said the university is saving a “block S” that graced the side of the building. No other memorabilia related to its football past were found in the building, according to Tim Peeler, a communications official with the Athletics Department.
—Sylvia Adcock ’81
We are launching a new periodic series on redandwhiteforlife.com looking at changes to NC State’s campus. Some installments will look at major changes, such as the ongoing renovation of Talley Student Center, while others will look at smaller changes in various corners of campus.