Malcolm U. Pitt Field – Richmond Spiders
The Spiders Web
Pitt Field, home of the Richmond Spiders baseball program opened in March 1975. The Spiders compete in the Atlantic 10. It is a quaint, no-frills ballpark but it is surrounded by large trees and pristine campus buildings. It overlooks Westhampton Lake, which is one of the most scenic parts of the University of Richmond’s campus. The ballpark recently underwent a renovation in 2015, in which a new state of the art turf field was installed, as well as a new drainage system. One thing that immediately stands out when you enter Pitt Field is the giant Spider painted in center. This gives an otherwise generic ballpark some character as the Spiders’ home.
Food & Beverage 1
Pitt Field offers one small concession area on the side of the first level of the press tower behind home plate. There are a few options, but it is advised to eat somewhere before or after the game. Options do include nachos ($5), peanuts ($3), and sunflower seeds ($3). Beverage selections include soft drinks, bottled water, and coffee and range in price from $3-$5.
One thing to note, for parts of the game there was no one running the concession window, and a hand written sign was put in the window that said “be back in 10 minutes.” Also, be aware that only cash is accepted. Perhaps the best option is to just bring your own food and drink. There is no security as admission is free so you are free to bring whatever food you want.
The atmosphere at a Richmond baseball game is definitely laid back to say the least. There are two simple sets of bleachers above each dugout that comprises the seating. These are simple metal bleachers, but are very close to the field and offer a great view. Since the capacity is only 600, there is not a bad seat in the house.
The tall trees surrounding the field give it a very quaint feeling. There is also a hill in the outfield where many fans sit as well. The giant spider in center field definitely stands out from the stands.
There are two scoreboards, one in the outfield that provides the typical line score and one mounted on the side of a building on the first base which shows the score for those sitting in the outfield. Sitting in the outfield offers a different perspective of the game, but it appears that this is where the die-hards sit. This is a great place to set up lawn chairs and have a picnic while enjoying the game.
Pitt Field is in the middle of campus is close by the Robins Center and Robins Stadium (home of Richmond football).
Behind the ballpark is Westhampton Lake, which is a beautiful lake and a great place to bike and jog around. There is a bridge that crosses the lake with a nice gazebo on the other side. In fact, many people would be jogging and stop by to watch some of the game, then start back. Other than that, there are mainly dorms and campus buildings surrounding the ballpark.
If you are looking for shopping and dining, take the 15 minute drive to the Short Pump Town Center which offers several restaurants and a two level outdoor mall. Richmond is the capital city of Virginia, so downtown there is the Capitol building, Monument Avenue, among other sight-seeing areas.
For a typical game, expect only a couple hundred fans in attendance. The majority of the Richmond fans will sit above the third base dugout, or in the outfield. Many appear to be alumni or friends and family of the players. There are very few students in attendance.
Even though the crowd is often small and quiet, they will cheer when the Spiders score and even get after the umpires. Due to the close proximity of the bleachers to the field and the small crowd, the home plate umpire can easily hear heckles from the crowd. A first I saw when visiting Pitt Field, the umpire turned around and addressed a heckling fan. The fan said “You’ll see on replay after the game you got that wrong Mr. Ump.” The umpire turned around and said, “OK, we’ll see.”
If you are unfamiliar with Richmond’s campus, you will frankly have a hard time finding Pitt Field. Do not point your GPS to Pitt Field. It will put you behind the press box near Westhampton Lake, but all the parking here is by permit only. Instead point the GPS to the Robins Center and park across the street in the special events parking. Parking is free here, and it is about a 5 minute walk to the ballpark.
There are no gates at Pitt Field. Simply walk up the steps to the bleachers on either the first or third base side, or simply set up chairs in the outfield. The only handicap accessible seating appears to be in the outfield above the hill. Restrooms are in a modular trailer unit behind the press box, but are clean and well serviced.
Return on Investment 5
Free parking, free admission, and the ability to bring your own food in give Pitt Field a 5/5. While a no-frills experience, the close proximity of the seating to the field makes it a great college baseball experience for the baseball purist.
One extra for the second scoreboard that gives fans sitting in the outfield the ability to see the score along with balls and strikes.
A second extra point for the free roster sheet with rosters and schedules for both teams.
While baseball is probably not what comes to mind when you think of Richmond Athletics, Pitt Field is a serviceable venue for the Spider program. If you are a college baseball fan and in Richmond when the Spiders are playing, it is definitely worth the time to check out. It is baseball in its purest form which is what many baseball fans enjoy.
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Latest Crowd Reviews
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Pitt Field is a small ballpark, but has a lot to offer in terms of atmosphere. The seating area is surrounded by tall trees that give the park a cozy feel, and the lake as a backdrop is a nice touch. Seating is aluminum bleacher-style, so feel free to bring a cushion or stadium seat for better comfort. With a capacity of about 600, there is not really a bad seat, but sitting at the far end of the third base side seating gives you the best sight line, as there is no netting or poles to get in the way of your view.