RVA Monopoly board

Spiders get on board with first-ever Richmond Monopoly

November 20, 2023

University News

Just in time for Black Friday, the Richmond edition of Monopoly has arrived. Spider fans will be happy to find UR — represented by a photo of iconic Boatwright Tower — as one of the featured properties on the board.

“We were so excited to be included. We are the only university that’s on the board,” said Phillip Gravely, associate vice president for marketing and digital engagement, and a 1996 alum. “This is this inaugural edition of RVA Monopoly, so we absolutely wanted to have a presence on it.”

Gravely attended the official unveiling of the local version of the popular board game. He received a copy from an official from Top Trump, the game’s creator, and posed for a photo with Mr. Monopoly, the mustachioed, top hat-wearing company mascot. Also present were representatives from other local companies and nonprofit organizations included among the game’s real estate.

“We were humbled and flattered to be included among so many great organizations that are in our backyard like The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, and Belle Isle,” he said. “It’s a good cross section of the organizations that make up the fabric of Richmond.”

Phillip Gravely, a 1996 alum, with Mr. Monopoly — a.k.a. Milburn “Rich Uncle” Pennybags
Photo courtesy Annie Tobey, Class of 1982

Carytown, ZZQ Texas Craft Barbeque, and Joe’s Inn are among the game’s commercial hot spots.

The Richmond edition is being sold first in local, independent stores, including the UR Spider Shop, where it’s been an immediate success.

“We sold out of the games in one day,” said Gina Foster, director of the Spider Shop. “We posted the game on our social media and get calls every day about purchasing it.” The store ordered dozens more to put on display.

Chloe Ngo, president of the UR Games Club noted that UR joined historically important Richmond landmarks on the board. “It’s fun to know we were included,” Ngo said, “and someone may need our university for their winning plan on family game night.”

Gravely’s family is also looking forward to rolling the dice.

“I played it growing up,” he said. “I was always the race car.”