Stadium's upper bleachers to be removed following engineer's study
An engineering report received recently by Queen’s University recommends that the upper east and west bleachers at Richardson Stadium be removed. The remainder of the seats, and the field itself, have been approved for use.
“The safety of our fans and all users of Richardson Stadium is of the utmost importance to us,” says Ann Browne, Associate Vice-Principal Facilities. “As soon as we received the report from Roney Engineering recommending that the upper east and west bleachers should not be used, we immediately began planning for their removal and researching options to bring the number of seats back to the 10,000 seat capacity.”
With the removal of these bleachers, the stadium now sits 3700 people. Both Physical Plant Services and Athletics and Recreation are working diligently to determine the best course of action to return the seating to as close to its original 10,000 seat capacity as soon as possible.
It is fully anticipated that the stadium will be back at capacity in time for the regular football season and for Homecoming. Details on plans for additional seating will be determined over the course of the next few weeks.
“The university’s 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,” said Tom Harris, Vice-Principal Advancement. “The athletics program is important to Queen’s and the rebuilding and strengthening of the Athletics and Recreation programs and facilities is a campaign priority. The university is actively seeking benefactors for these initiatives.”
The university was already planning for the renovation of Richardson Stadium and has been investigating a number of options to meet the needs of our athletic programs.
Since 2008 the university has conducted a structural/condition study of all of the stadium bleachers leading to the creation of a 5-year maintenance plan to continue to maintain the stands in a safe and usable condition. Additional structural reviews of the bleachers were undertaken by PPS over the five-year period as required and, specifically, during the 2009 Vanier Cup when the stadium was filled to capacity on a regular basis.
During the past decade, upgrades to both indoor and outdoor athletics facilities have been a priority for the university. A number of major renovations and initiatives have taken place, including the construction of the Athletic and Recreation Centre, the opening of Nixon Field in 2012, and upgrades to Tindall Field and the West Campus Turf Fields.