Sports in Richmond, Virginia
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Richmond, Virginia, United States, is home to three professional sports teams, though none of which compete in any major professional league. Virginia is the most populated state without a major sports team. In 2008, the Richmond Braves minor league baseball team left for Gwinnett County, Georgia, and was replaced by the Richmond Flying Squirrels in 2010. But now, the Flying Squirrels' owner has threatened to leave Richmond if they do not replace their current stadium, The Diamond. The Richmond Kickers are a non-profit soccer team that plays at City Stadium.
Richmond has also come into the national spotlight in recent years due to the success of the region's two Division I college basketball teams, the VCU Rams and Richmond Spiders. The VCU Rams men's basketball team reached the Final Four of the 2011 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, while the Richmond Spiders men's basketball team reached the Sweet 16 of the same tournament.
As of 2016, Richmond is also home to its first women's sports team, the Richmond Black Widows. They are in the Women's Football Alliance and play at Hovey Field. The expansion team plays in Tier III of the Women's Football Alliance and is the National Conference Champion.
|Richmond Flying Squirrels||Eastern League||Baseball||The Diamond (9,500)||2010|
|Richmond Kickers||United Soccer League||Soccer||City Stadium (22,600)||1993|
|Richmond Spiders||Atlantic 10 Conference (most sports),
Colonial Athletic Association (football)
|Division I||Robins Stadium (football),
Robins Center (basketball),
Malcolm U. Pitt Field (baseball)
|VCU Rams||Atlantic 10 Conference||Division I||Siegel Center (basketball),
The Diamond (baseball),
Sports Backers Stadium (soccer)
|Virginia Union Panthers||Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Division II||Hovey Field (football)|
Sports Backers is a non-profit organization founded in 1991 and located in Richmond, Virginia at Sports Backers Stadium. The mission of the Sports Backers has expanded from its beginnings as a traditional sports commission for economic development to be focused on increasing physical activity to improve the health of area residents. The Sports Backers own Dominion Riverrock, the largest outdoor sports and music festival in the country, the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k, the 8th largest running race in the United States, and the Anthem Richmond Marathon, the 18th largest marathon in the country. The organization owns and produces 15 events.
Richmond has hosted several minor pro hockey teams since the 1970s. The American Hockey League Richmond Robins played at the Richmond Coliseum from 1971-76. The short-lived Eastern Hockey League's Richmond affiliate was the Richmond Rifles. The longest-lived and most successful of Richmond's hockey teams were the Richmond Renegades of the East Coast Hockey League, who played at the Coliseum from 1990 to 2003. After a brief stay by the Richmond RiverDogs of the United Hockey League from 2003 to 2006, former Renegades owner Allen Harvie attempted to revive the team again as a Southern Professional Hockey League franchise from 2006 − 2009. After the SPHL club left, hockey has been represented in Richmond by the junior and youth United States Premier Hockey League organization Richmond Generals at SkateNation Plus in Henrico County.
The Richmond Raiders, an indoor football team, played out of the Richmond Coliseum from 2010 until 2015 when it suspended operations. In 2016, the Raiders' ownership announced they would not return. The Richmond Revolution of the Indoor Football League played at the Arthur Ashe Athletic Center in 2010 and 2011. The Revolution had been planning to SportsQuest before they disbanded.
There has been minor league baseball at the corner of the Boulevard and Robin Hood Road since 1954. In 1954, the International League Baltimore Orioles moved to Richmond as the Richmond Virginians, playing at Parker Field. The Virginians were part of the New York Yankees' organization for most of their time in Richmond. After the 1964 season, the team moved to Toledo, Ohio as the Toledo Mud Hens. After a year off, the city was the beneficiary of the Milwaukee Braves' move to Atlanta, as the Braves' International League franchise, the Atlanta Crackers, moved to Richmond for the 1966 season as the Richmond Braves. The Braves played at Parker Field through 1984, after which the old ballpark was torn down and replaced with the concrete-and-steel "temporary" facility, The Diamond. The Braves left Richmond after the 2008 season to return to the Atlanta area as the Gwinnett Braves.
- "Richmond Flying Squirrels - BR Bullpen". Baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2013-10-24.
- "XTERRA East Championship in Richmond.". richmond.com. June 7, 2012. Retrieved July 10, 2012.
- Jones, Will (September 21, 2011). "Richmond picked to host World Road Cycling Championships". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- "Dominion Riverrock Event Organizers". Dominion Riverrock. Dominion Riverrock. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
- "Dominion Riverrock Sees Record Attendance". Retrieved May 19, 2014.
- "Largest Running Races". Retrieved 26 July 2014.
- "Largest Marathons in USA". Retrieved 26 July 2014.
- Stott, John C. (2006). Hockey Night in Dixie. Surrey, BC, Canada: Heritage House Publishing Company Ltd. p. 209. ISBN 1-894974-21-2.
- "Renegades shut down operations.". Richmond Times Dispatch. March 27, 2009. Retrieved July 10, 2012.
- "Indoor football team moving into Ashe Center". Richmond Times-Dispatch. July 22, 2009. Retrieved July 10, 2012.
- "Richmond Revolution Not Returning in 2012.". Richmond Raiders Insider Blog. October 27, 2011. Retrieved July 10, 2012.