Riggs Field as it stands today is the home for Clemson Men’s and Women’s Soccer. It is quite often known as ‘Historic’ Riggs Field, due to its history, but its history is often forgotten in-between other bits of Clemson history. Riggs Field was the birthplace of Clemson athletics. Before it became a soccer pitch, it was the home to both Clemson Football and Baseball.
What is Riggs Field today was only half of the original Riggs Field, that was 400 feet wide and 1000 feet long. What is now today’s Riggs Field was the football field when it was originally built. Where the tennis courts are now was were the baseball field was located. Other things, like a half-mile long track field was also constructed to surround the space, and tennis courts, were built on it. There was also extra space, enough for “three to four diamonds and as many gridirons”. Riggs Field was dedicated and named after Walter Riggs when it first opened ground in 1915. Riggs was President of Clemson College from 1909 to 1924, and was the football team’s first coach.
Clemson’s first football game on their new stadium happened shortly after it first opened in 1915, when they tied against Davidson 6-6. Clemson’s first baseball game was held in 1916, winning 4-2 against West Virginia Wesleyan College. Riggs Field provided great home field advantage for both the football and baseball team, both of them winning seventy percent of their games there.
In 1942, Clemson Football left Riggs Field to start playing at Clemson Memorial Stadium, were they still play today. While Riggs Field was a suitable field for Clemson, Memorial Stadium was larger than Riggs, having 20,000 seats when it opened. Clemson Baseball stayed at Riggs Field for around two decades and a half longer, moving to Doug Kingsmore Stadium (originally known as Beautiful Tiger Field) in 1970.
Riggs Field is one of the most used spaces for Clemson athletics. It has been holding contests for many Clemson teams throughout the 20th century to today. Without Riggs Field, Clemson athletics many not be the powerhouse it is today.