Meade Stadium – Rhode Island Rams

by | Oct 28, 2017 | NCAA Football, Paul Baker | 0 comments

Fanfare Score

Total Score
2.71

 

Crowd Score

Total Score
3

 

 

 

Rhode Trip

Meade Stadium, home of the University of Rhode Island Rams football team, is located on the URI campus in Kingston, Rhode Island. It is named after class of 1915 alum, booster, and local politician John E. “Jack” Meade, who was rumored to never have missed a home game from the time he attended URI until his death in 1972.

Renovations to the facility, which opened in 1928, included the building of the Thomas J. Ryan Center directly adjacent to Meade Stadium in 2002. Meade Stadium, which in the past seated as many as 10,000 fans, now has a capacity of 6,555. The grandstand on the western side of the field is built directly into the side of the Ryan Center, and the luxury boxes in the Ryan Center overlook both the event center inside and the football field on the outside.

Football teams have represented URI since 1895. Now a member of the Colonial Athletic Association of the Football Championship Subdivision, the Rams have struggled in recent years. The Rams have posted just three winning seasons since 1985, and none since 2002. In their history, URI has qualified for the Division 1AA/FCS playoffs three times, and has won or shared seven Yankee conference titles.

Food and Beverage 3 

Depending on which side of Meade Stadium you visit, you will experience a different concession experience. Several temporary tents and food trucks are located in the northwest corner of the facility, where fans will find your typical stadium fare. Hot dogs, burgers, and chicken tenders are sold here. For something a little different, fans can choose brisket sandwiches, BLT’s, french fries with a variety of toppings, and chowder. Fans looking to satisfy a sweet tooth can purchase churros or kettle corn.

Concession stands on the east side of the field are located at the top of the grandstand, inside the Ryan Center. Burgers, nachos, sausage and pepper sandwiches and various gourmet hot dogs are sold here. Assorted snacks, including pretzels, popcorn, cookies and candy can also be found here.

Coca Cola products are featured at Meade Stadium. Alcohol is not sold at this on campus facility. Prices are reasonable, quality is decent, and lines are short, even at halftime.

Atmosphere 3

As any fan who has attended games in New England can testify, college football just isn’t the big deal here that it is in other parts of the country. Games at URI are no different. When visiting Meade Stadium, you can expect a laid-back, relaxed atmosphere surrounded by a crowd that, despite their smaller numbers, is still very much into the action on the field.

All the usual elements of a college football game can be found here in Kingston. The URI Marching Band, cheerleading, dance and flag squads all perform throughout the game. During play stoppages there is a mix of music coming from the band or over the PA system. Contests involving lucky participants from the student section or younger fans in attendance take place throughout the game. Younger fans will undoubtedly flock towards the play area located beyond the north end zone, where Rhody the Ram mascot, bounce houses and giveaways can be found.

The most memorable aspect of the gameday presentation at Meade Stadium is the cannon located in the north end zone. Mirroring the famous End Zone Militia at Gillette Stadium, a small crew of Revolutionary War reenactors fire the cannon after every Rhode Island score.

Neighborhood 2

Football fans looking for dining or recreational activities within walking distance may be disappointed with Meade Stadium’s rural location. The URI campus is fairly self-contained, without a great deal of restaurants or places of interest nearby. Those willing to travel a short distance will be rewarded with many wonderful restaurants and sights. The Mews Tavern in nearby Wakefield boasts 69 beers on taps and an extensive bar menu. It is a favorite of the student body. In addition, Narragansett, located 8 miles to the south, Newport, 16 miles to the east, and Providence, 29 miles to the north, offer a wide variety of dining, lodging, and tourist options for the adventurous football fan.

There are no lodging options directly adjacent to the URI campus, so fans looking to stay near URI overnight will need to look elsewhere. There are some options in nearby South Kingstown (don’t ask me why “Kingstown” has a “W” and “Kingston” doesn’t, I couldn’t find an answer) and beyond. Fans looking to make a weekend of their trip to URI would be advised to check out Newport or Providence, both short drives from campus.

Fans 3

 While the turnout of student body can be disappointing, especially with Meade Stadium’s location literally steps from some dormitories, URI still manages to put out a representative crowd. Attendance for the 2016 season averaged just a shade under 4,000 fans per game. If you happen to visit Kingston for the annual Governor’s Cup game against Brown, expect this figure to be much higher. While the Rams do not boast the largest crowds around, those fans who come to Meade Stadium are knowledgeable about the home team, and are quite vocal and enthusiastic.

Access 3

Meade Stadium is located on the western side of the URI campus in Kingston, Rhode Island. The small town of Kingston is located 29 miles south of Providence and 20 minutes south of T.F. Green Airport. Driving to Kingston from Providence will take you about 40 minutes on a normal Saturday. The campus is located on Route 138, approximately a 10 mile drive from I-95 as it passes through southern Rhode Island. The URI campus is served by public transportation, as RIPTA busses have several routes that serve the campus from Providence. In addition, the Kingstown train station is about two miles away from campus, with Amtrak making regular stops at the station.

The seaside towns of Narragansett and Newport are nearby and worth a visit to any out-of-towners visiting Rhode Island. Newport is a well-known tourist attraction with many things to see and do, while Narragansett boasts many fine restaurants and beaches of its own.

Parking around Meade Stadium is plentiful and inexpensive. There are lots directly adjacent to the Stadium which charge $10, with lots further away free of charge. Tailgating is permitted only in designated lots, so pay attention to signage when arriving on campus. The tailgating scene at URI is decidedly laid back.

As with most amenities at Meade Stadium, the quality and quantity of bathrooms vary depending on which side of the field you sit on. There are buildings underneath the west bleachers which house rest rooms for both men and women, and would best be described as adequate. The rest rooms on the east side are inside the Ryan Center, and are more plentiful and more modern.

Return on Investment 3

There are two types of seats at Meade Stadium, individual seats costing $22 and general admission bleachers costing $15. The reserved seats occupy only the three middle sections of the east grandstand, which is steeply sloped, making for great views of the action. General admission seats make up the remainder of the seating at Meade Stadium. During the warm early season games in September, seating on the east side of the stadium is popular, but as temperatures drop through the Rhode Island autumn, more fans seek out seats in the sun on the west sideline. In addition, there is plenty of standing room available on both the east side of the field and in the north end zone, which is a popular area for families, as there is room for younger fans to run around and let out some steam.

With parking maxing out at $10 and reasonably priced food items, you will definitely not break the bank at a URI football game.

For added value, check out the Family Four Pack, which consists of four tickets, four popcorns and four sodas for $40.

Extras 2

Bonus points for the Rams militia in the end zone firing their cannon after every Rhody score.

A second bonus point is awarded for the inclusion of family friendly activities throughout the afternoon at Meade Stadium, including junior cheerleaders, interactive activities with local mascots and pregame play zone.

Final Thoughts

As mentioned earlier, football is not a big deal at schools in the northeast. In fact, with the relative lack of success enjoyed by the Rams in recent years, there is a movement in some Rhode Island circles to replace the football team with a hockey team. Despite their struggles, the Rhody Rams are a team on the way up, and spending an afternoon at Meade Stadium is an enjoyable way to spend a fall Saturday afternoon.

Follow Paul Baker’s stadium journeys on Twitter @PuckmanRI.

Food and Drink Recommendations

Mews Tavern

456 Main St

Wakefield, RI 02879

(401) 783-9370

http://mewstavern.com/


Rhody Joe’s

515 Kingstown Rd

Wakefield, RI 02879

(401) 783-0008

http://www.rhodyjoes.com/


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Entertainment Recommendations

Theater-By-The-Sea

364 Cards Pond Rd

South Kingstown, RI 02879

(401) 782-8587

http://www.theatrebythesea.com/


Gilbert Stuart Museum

815 Gilbert Stuart Rd

Saunderstown, RI 02874

(401) 294-3001

http://www.gilbertstuartmuseum.com/


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Lodging Recommendations

 

Holiday Inn Saunderstown

3009 Tower Hill Rd

South Kingstown, RI 02879

(401) 789-1051

http://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/south-kingstown


 

Hampton Inn South Kingstown

20 Hotel Dr

South Kingstown, RI 02879

(401) 788-3500

http://hamptoninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/rhode-island/hampton-inn-south-kingstown-newport-area


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Crowd Reviews

Latest Crowd Reviews

Date: 2017-10-28 09:42:08
By: Legacy Review

Total Score
3

Meade Stadium, home of the University of Rhode Island Rams football team, is located on the URI campus in Kingston, Rhode Island. It is named after class of 1915 alum, booster, and local politician John E. “Jack” Meade, who was rumored to never have missed a home game from the time he attended URI until his death in 1972.

Stadium Info

Meade Stadium
Kingston, RI 02881

Rhode Island Rams website

Meade Stadium website

Year Opened: 1928

Capacity: 6,555

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