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Gabriel: N.C. State Should Preserve Riddick Field House

Posted September 21, 2007

At N.C. State, the wrecking ball is slowly taking down a part of Wolfpack football history.

For 60 years, N.C. State played its football games on campus at Riddick Stadium, a facility named for the father of State football, W.C. Riddick. Riddick Stadium was the home for Wolfpack greats like running back Dick Christy and quarterback Roman Gabriel.

But despite its quaint atmosphere and on-campus charm, the stadium was small. N.C. State had the ACC’s premier basketball facility in Reynolds Coliseum, but the football stadium didn’t compare.

“I remember when I got recruited by State, they took me to basketball,” Gabriel recalled in an interview this week with WRAL’s Jeff Gravley. “At that time, that was the best facility in the ACC. I went to some class rooms and two basketball games, but I never saw the football field.”

State’s games with North Carolina were played at more spacious Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill.

“The stadium was so small that we couldn’t get enough people in there to make enough money to support the program, so we only played three games at home,” Gabriel said.

In 1966, State moved to Carter Stadium in west Raleigh. Riddick Stadium became a parking lot. The remaining stands were torn down in 2005, and the only remaining structure, the field house, is scheduled to be demolished in two years.

N.C. State has no plans to preserve the field house or put a plaque or monument on the site of the stadium.

“If they could, it’d be nice if they left this as a piece of memorabilia,” Gabriel said. “This, to me, is the beginning of it all. Without this, you don’t have what they have out there (at Carter-Finley).”

10 Comments

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  • mathforall Sep 22, 7:33 a.m.

    For those who never lived on East Campus the Riddick bleachers were more than air conditioner stands. I spent hours sitting on them studying. It was our "beach" too. We had the hugh oaks outside our residence hall so if you wanted any sun you had to head to Pullen Park or the stadium. Why is the small amount of space taken up by the field house needed? What could NCSU officials want to build that close to the tracks?

  • RaleighRocks Sep 22, 2:07 a.m.

    I think it should be preserved. We have given millions over the last decade to go 5-6, 7-5, and 3-9 in our crazy-sweet stadium, and others, over the last three years. We have gone 15-20 over three years, 16-22 counting this year, in good ole Carter-Finley and abroad. Our last acc championship was almost 30 years ago. The teams playing at Riddick gave us 4 of our 7 acc-championships (2 shared), with the senior class of the '68 championship team starting at Riddick. It is on the edge of a parking lot, which is needed, and the railroad tracks. For the love of all things football, Dick Christy, Roman Gabriel, and so many more, do something to preserve our history!

  • lgboro Sep 21, 8:51 p.m.

    The ones who want to "preserve" should put up an endowment to finance including the cost of the land which is would be of no further use to the educational process. Sleazly would give you a grant I'm sure for the chillin.

  • geosol Sep 21, 8:09 p.m.

    Please try to preserve the Field House. Its a unique link to the past of this great University with a great tradition. Its important to preserve some old buildings even while the school adapts for the future. Once they're gone the cannot be replaced. It is possible to provide for the future while preserving the past. Please consider saving the Field House.

  • 37 Sep 21, 7:49 p.m.

    Roman Gabriel needs to put his money behind his statement or focus on something more important such as providing quality educations to students.

  • bobokelly2003 Sep 21, 5:43 p.m.

    so lets' say you do save it and you use it for a museum, that would be a good thhing, but what happens when eventually the school needs to put in some parking or a building. Tearing it down now would give up some more space for things needed in the future, at place where land is not just avaiable very easy.

  • cherokee43v6 Sep 21, 10:46 a.m.

    I'm with Hugh. Riddick Field House would be an AWESOME place to have a museum dedicated to the history of the university, both sport and academic.

    Great Idea!

    Even as a student in the late 80's I felt that NC State lacked the long-term traditions that other schools of our size and caliber are known for. A dedicated NC State museum would certainly help in keeping the school's traditions alive from one generation of students to the next.

  • dougdeep Sep 21, 10:35 a.m.

    Last week you were asking for recognition of Ridd*ck through some sort of plaque, and this week you've upped the ante. Why?

    Ridd*ck's glory isn't being lost now, it was lost years ago when they paved the parking lot, installed air conditioners on the bleachers, and put office space underneath. It didn't even resemble a stadium anymore.

    Ridd*ck was hardly a pristine antique worth keeping. Sometimes you just gotta throw in the towel.

    FYI, WRAL's website thinks Ridd*ck is a bad word.

  • HughBlueJorgan Sep 21, 8:59 a.m.

    I wish NCSU would save the old Riddick Stadium Fieldhouse, its part of history. They could make it a NCSU Museum.

  • whatelseisnew Sep 21, 8:39 a.m.

    Sure why not, lets waste money on this trivial junk.

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