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).”