RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – It is official. City Stadium is back. In a special session Tuesday afternoon, the city council re-named the old University of Richmond Stadium to help clear up any possible confusion before the Richmond Spiders first home game at its new location.
That deadline is just two weeks away. The Spiders take the field September 18. The university and the city want to make sure when those fans roll in for the game, they head for the campus, and not Douglasdale Road.
It seems easy. Just take down the familiar signs along the Downtown Expressway. But it's not that simple. It involves a lot of time, money -- and cooperation between the city and the state.
"At first I thought just take the signs down but the [Kickers] play at City Stadium. So, we need to have those City Stadium signs up until we, the city, can determine what we're going to do with the property," said Richmond City Council President Kathy Graziano.
Taking down the signs also costs $35,000. That bill will be evenly split between VDOT and the city. The council called a special session to move the process along.
"Absolutely it saves us money if we do it all at once because we have the equipment out there. You might as well just do it rather than taking the signs down today and coming back in two weeks and putting up the signs," Graziano said.
Built 80 years ago, it was originally called City Stadium until 1983 when the University of Richmond began leasing it. The Spiders played here for 26 years, taking the field for the last time in December of last year.
In two weeks the team will play at its new multimillion dollar home, Robin's Stadium.
"We don't want there to be any confusion," said John McCulla with the University of Richmond.
The university says the word is out about the new stadium, but hopes the change in signs will keep people from changing lanes onto a wrong exit ramp.
"The city has been very collaborative on this. They've worked quickly to make this happen and we're very thankful for what they've done," he said.