A quick recap of the stadium related events of the past few months:
• During the fall/winter of 2012/2013 Physical Plant Services directed an engineering firm to perform an in depth analysis of the stadium bleachers
• The report recommended that both the upper east and west bleachers at Richardson Stadium not be occupied for safety reasons.
• As the safety of our fans and anyone who visits Richardson Stadium is of paramount concern to the university, we immediately began planning for their removal and researching options to bring the number of seats as close to the original capacity as possible.
• The remainder of the seats, as well as the track and the field, remain approved for safe use.
• Queen’s Athletics & Recreation and Physical Plant Services developed a plan to remove the bleachers and install new temporary bleachers to replace lost seating. Work on the tear-down began in June.
• In late July, installation of the new transportable aluminum bleachers began.
• Construction is now complete, and the stadium is ready for the 2013-14 season.
• Prior to the engineer’s report, the capacity of Richardson Stadium was approximately 10,000 occupants. With the removal of the upper east and west bleachers, this was reduced to 3,700. Following the installation of the new bleachers, capacity was brought up to 8,200.
• During the past decade, upgrading both indoor and outdoor athletics facilities has been a priority for the university. A number of major renovations and initiatives have taken place including the construction of the Athletics and Recreation Centre (ARC), the opening of Nixon Field in 2012, and upgrades to Tindall Field and the West Campus Fields.
• Our goal is to revitalize our playing fields and Richardson Stadium to be among the highest quality university facilities in Canada to inspire our community, showcase Queen’s athletic successes, and to recruit, train and challenge scholar-athletes.
What this means for seating:
• In addition to the remaining original seating on the Alumni side (on the west), seating for alumni/guests/community members has been placed along the track itself.
• Gaels Club has been enhanced and now includes seating
• Larger concession stands on the north end, by Gate 1.
• More intimate atmosphere, and with the bowl configuration there are more seats closer to the field
• In addition to the remaining original seating on the Student side (on the east), seating for students has been placed at the top of the hill just behind the original student bleachers.
For the weekend of Oct 4-6:
• Reunioning classes will be seated together in the new bleachers on the southeast side of the stadium (marked in yellow and green on the stadium map below).
• The Classes of ’88 will be seated in the northernmost yellow bleachers.
• The remaining reunioning classes will be seated chronologically from the 1940s through to 2000s in the adjacent alumni bleachers marked in green.
For the weekend of Oct 18-20:
• Tricolour Guard alumni will be seated together in the new bleachers on the southeast side of the stadium (marked in yellow on the stadium map below).
• The Classes of ’63 will sit in the northernmost Tricolour Guard bleachers, followed by the remaining Tricolour Guard classes chronologically from the 1940s through to 1962.
• Classes from the 1970s to the 2000s will be seated chronologically in the adjacent alumni bleachers marked in green.
What this means for the Half-Time Parade:
• Because the temporary bleachers have been placed directly on the track, the parade route will be shortened this year (beginning and ending at the red stars marked on the stadium map)
• An announcement will be made with 4-5min left to go in the first half to invite all alumni parade participants to marshal in the area directly behind the south bleachers. Alumni volunteers will assist alumni to organize by reunion year.
• The parade will begin in the southeast corner of the track, and the arrangement of the classes in the bleachers should facilitate organization of the parade, as the classes will proceed in the order in which they are seated. Classes will be asked to gather behind the stands in the staging area behind the south bleachers.
• Any alumni who have let us know ahead of time that they require assistance around the track because of mobility restrictions will be helped from their seat into a golf cart, and a volunteer will drive them around the track with their classmates.
• When the parade ends at the northwest corner of the track, alumni can proceed on the walking path in front of the west bleachers until they reach their seat again. Golf carts will be driven behind the west bleachers and back in through Gate 2, and alumni will be driven directly back to their seats.
If you have any questions or concerns about the Half-Time Parade, please feel free to email me, Kathryn Vilela, or call me at 613-533-6000 ext. 77903.
More information on the developments at Richardson Stadium can be found in these Queen’s News articles:
• Stadium's upper bleachers to be removed following engineer's study
• Bleacher work at Richardson Stadium underway
• Materials arrive for Richardson Stadium's temporary bleachers
• Temporary bleachers taking shape at Richardson Stadium
• Richardson Stadium ready for football home opener