VCU may have the nationally ranked basketball team, but University of Richmond has the sweet new digs.
A press conference today unveiled the nearly completed $17 million dollar renovations to the Robins Center, an impressive combination of four huge videoboards surrounded by brick columns, new LED lighting, hospitality suites, redone seats, and a dark blue painted ceiling. It’s much brighter, louder, and more intimate -- losing around 2,000 seats to put capacity at just over 7,000. That means if you haven’t gotten your tickets for the VCU – Richmond game, you could already be out of luck.
The Spiders’ season starts Nov. 8 at home against Delaware and they play their first Big 10 opponent at home this year, with Minnesota coming to town. Those hoping for a return to the old concert days, when bands like The Kinks played the Robins Center, may be disappointed to learn that basketball is the number one priority here. But Coach Chris Mooney is loving it -- he tells Style that he’s excited about their new homecourt advantage and the off-season progress of his players, especially athletic forward, Terry Allen.
Mooney says the only thing he's worried about is that players might come out "too excited" under the glare of these bright new lights.
Here are some stats for you to ponder:
The Robins Center
- Opened in 1972, built by the E. Claiborne Robins family
- Cost $12 million to build ($65.9 million in 2013 dollars)
- Has hosted Spider basketball for 41 years
- Hosted a Presidential debate in 1992 between George Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot
- Hosted address by President Barack Obama in 2011
- Hosted speech by former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1993
- Hosted the Kinks on March 28, 1985 for a concert that featured the songs "Around the Dial," "Living on a Thin Line," and closed with "You Really Got Me"
- Phase 1 will cost $17 million and focus on the interior of the arena and restrooms
- Seating capacity will be lowered from 9,071 to approximately 7,000
Size Of video boards:15 feet high x 33 feet wide
Resolution of each video board: 984 pixels wide by 456 pixels high
Square footage of each video board: 483
Total square feet Of video boards: 1932
Distance of video boards from court: 74 feet
Tons of new structural steel: 30
Number of new bricks: 20,000
Tons of concrete removed: 25
Yards of new concrete poured: 120
Square footage of hospitality space added: 7,600
Height of hospitality level above the court: 43 feet
Number of additional toilets: 25
The Kinks have been considering reuniting in recent years, according to Rolling Stone magazine. They have not played the Robins Center since 1985