Campus Changes: The last of Riddick Stadium coming down

March 1, 2013
By Bill Krueger

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.

resolver1The 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.

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11 Responses to “Campus Changes: The last of Riddick Stadium coming down”

  1. Jim Knight says:

    I remember the old Fieldhouse and some of the concret bleachers from attending NCSU…Class of 85 School of Business. And my Dad use to tell me stories of watching football games in the Old Riddick field while attending school, and living in the old Quad. Great memories!!! But a campus on the move….

  2. Sam says:

    What a shame to demolish one of the old relics of NCSU and an irreplaceable part of our campus’ history

  3. Roger Townley says:

    I came to campus as a grad student in 1977. I knew nothing about State football. The first time I came across the strange looking former stadium I knew there was a story to be told. I went to D.H. Hill library and looked at old yearbooks and found pictures of games played at Riddick.
    The former field house and stadium became a favorite destination as a student and later as a visitor to campus from my home in Rocky Mount. I enjoyed walking through the fieldhouse and sitting in the concrete stands as I imagined football from a bygone era.
    I have visited the area since the removal of the stands and will continue to do so after removal of the fieldhouse. I agree it’s time to move on but I will cherish the memories.

  4. Cary says:

    That’s sad. I don’t think I’m a fan of this. Especially only if it’s to create a more open area near the entrance of the tunnel. Turn it into a building detailing the history of NC State and it’s growth throughout the years.

  5. george barnes says:

    I believe that carter stadium opened in 1967 (not 1968 as mentioned). I graduated in spring of 1968 but I remember going to carter stadium for homecoming in 1967

  6. David says:

    This decision by the administration is very short sighted and one that, I think, they will regret. Something needs to be done to stop this.

  7. Sylvia Adcock says:

    George, thanks for pointing out the error. You are correct, Carter Stadium did open before 1968–in fact, the first game was played there in October 1966. We have corrected the error in our story.
    –Sylvia Adcock

  8. Keith says:

    The removal of the old field house is the responsible and necessary action to make optimal use of a finite and valuable asset – land within the main campus. I applaud the University for making a wise and strategic decision to re-allocate the space to gain the highest benefit possible from the resource.

  9. Carol Powell says:

    Is that the other side of the tunnel near the Quad? I lived in Berry for most of my years there and always used that tunnel. Never noticed the bleachers, though.

  10. William Petty says:

    I went to a game in the old Riddick Stadium with my dad (class of 34) in the early ’60’s and parking was a real problem. Fall of 66 we came to Raleigh and went to a game in the new Carter Stadium. I started at State in fall 67 and the old Riddick was looking sad. My dad went to every game they played the four years he was at State and I took in quite a few of them my five years.

  11. george barnes says:

    20-50 years from now, nobody is going to remember this place unless it’s preserved

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