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Bulldog Stadium

Smithfield, RI

Home of the Bryant Bulldogs

3.0

N/A

Bulldog Stadium (map it)
1150 Douglas Pike
Smithfield, RI 02917


Bryant Bulldogs website

Bulldog Stadium website

Year Opened: 1999

Capacity: 5,500

There are no tickets available at this time.

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For the Bulldogs

Bulldog Stadium was built in 1999 to coincide with the rise of Bryant University’s football team to Division I status. The stadium is located on the university’s Smithfield, RI campus, alongside Bryant’s softball, baseball, soccer, and lacrosse fields. From 1976-2002, the New England Patriots used the Bryant campus as the site for their training camp, and Bulldog Stadium sits on the site that the Patriots formerly used.

The stadium consists of two sets of stands, a 3,200 seat structure on the home side, which houses the press box, concession stand, locker rooms, and restrooms, and a 1,200 seat bleacher on the visitor’s side. Most of the seats are metal bleachers, with three hundred individual bucket seats located in between the 40 yard lines.

3.0

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    2

There is only one concession stand at Bulldog Stadium, located at the near end of the home grandstand. The selection is not bad for a stand of its size, with the menu featuring hot dogs ($2.50), burgers ($3.50/$4), and pizza slices ($2/$2.50). A variety of snacks ($1), candy ($1), popcorn ($2), and nachos ($3.50) are available for purchase as well.

In my travels over the years I have seen many unusual menu items, but never have I seen fruit ($1) listed on a menu board as it is here at Bulldog Stadium. Coke products are sold here and as per NCAA policy, alcohol is not available at this on campus facility. Since there are only two registers serving the entire stadium, lines do form at halftime.

There is a stand located near the entrance gates selling game-used Bryant jerseys from a variety of sports, as well as game programs. There are no other concession stands in Bulldog Stadium.

Atmosphere    3

If you come to Bryant looking for big-time college football with all the trappings that go along with it, you are likely to disagree with this rating. Bryant University, playing in the Northeast Conference, cannot be compared to the big boys of the SEC or Big Ten.

What you do have here is college athletics as it should be in a laid-back atmosphere. Looking around Bulldog Stadium, you can see alumni hanging out in the Black and Gold tent just beyond the end zone, kids playing catch in the fields adjacent to Bulldog Stadium, fans tailgating along the stone wall that separates the parking lot from the athletic complex along with dogs enjoying a fall afternoon with their families. Despite the lack of fancy amenities or creature comforts seen elsewhere, Bryant is a comfortable place to take in a game and meet up with friends.

The tailgating scene at Bulldog Stadium is quite laid back, but there is activity to be found if you know where to look. There is plenty of room in the parking lots for tailgaters, as Bulldog Stadium is surrounded by open fields. These fields are also utilized by the many families that attend Bryant games for tossing around footballs, playing soccer, or just for kids running around to let off steam.

During the game, expect the usual between-play music and efforts by the pep band, dance squad, and cheerleaders to pump up the crowd. Fans at Bulldog Stadium are a close-knit group, and many of the people here have been attending games together for years.

Neighborhood    2

Smithfield is a suburb of Providence, RI, located about a twenty minute drive away. Although it is a very nice place to live, it's not a place you would choose as a vacation destination. The Bryant campus is picturesque, but there is not a whole lot in the immediate vicinity for visiting fans to see or do.

Dining options near Bryant University are few. Parente's Restaurant is a favorite of students, as much for its location near campus as for its reasonably priced comfort food. Fans seeking to pick up sandwiches before the game for tailgating should check out J's Deli on the way to campus. Those looking for more dining options should take the 20 minute drive to Providence, which is consistently rated as one of the better mid-sized cities in the country for culinary delights.

The same can be said for lodging options in Smithfield. There are a few decent options near the Bryant campus, but visitors to the university would be better served to check out Providence or Boston for places to stay or things to do. For those looking to stay in the immediate neighborhood, Twin Rivers Casino is in nearby Lincoln.

Fans    3

The crowd at Bulldog Stadium is a mixed one, to be sure. When taking your place among the Bryant fans prior to the game, you are likely to be surrounded by a group of people who have been sitting near each other for years. Bulldog Stadium has that Cheers vibe, where everyone knows your name. Fans throughout the stadium are very friendly, including the visiting fans in attendance. Bulldog Stadium does not appear to be the place for a grudge match kind of game.

The student body is well-represented at Bulldog Stadium despite their lack of typical college rituals and cheers. There are more children attending games at Bryant than you will typically see at a college game, and they are as likely to be playing their own football game on the fields next to Bulldog Stadium as they are to be watching the Bulldogs play.

Access    4

Bryant University is located in suburban Smithfield, Rhode Island, 13 miles from Providence. Most visitors to Bryant will travel there by car, as the campus is located on Route 7, and is easily accessible from Interstate 295. T.F. Green Airport is 20 miles away, with Boston's Logan Airport an hour away. Train service is provided by Amtrak, which has its downtown Providence station 15 minutes away. Rhode Island Public Transportation (RIPTA) has a bus station on the Bryant campus, connecting the campus with downtown Providence.

For those fans requiring handicapped access, there is ample seating at the front of the bleachers, as well as lots of room fieldside to stand (or sit) and take in the game. Fans are able to stand within just a few feet of the field and watch the action from up close if they choose to. There are only two small restrooms underneath the stands to serve the entire stadium. Plan to avoid this area at halftime, as long lines can form.

Return on Investment    5

Tickets are quite inexpensive at Bulldog Stadium. Reserved seating, which consists of plastic bucket seats between the 40 yard lines, cost $15, while General Admission seats are only $10. Students and Senior Citizens are admitted for only $5. Parking in the large lots directly adjacent to the stadium is free. Going to a Bryant football game along with having a hot dog and soda will cost a mere $15. It's hard to argue with those prices. It's really no surprise why so many local families choose to spend their Saturday afternoons at Bulldog Stadium.

Extras    2

An extra point is awarded for the overall Bulldog theme going on at Bulldog Stadium. From the moment you pass through the twin Bulldog statues and enter the athletic complex, you know what team the locals root for. Fans are welcome to bring their dogs to Bulldog Stadium, and there were over a dozen canine football fans in attendance on the day I visited Bryant. Naturally, several of these visitors were Bulldogs. It's a good thing that the university didn't choose the Lions or Tigers as a nickname.

Another extra point is awarded for the friendliness and accessibility of Bryant University's athletic staff. Everyone from the ticket takers to the athletic director had a friendly word and asked if there was anything they could do to make fans experience a positive one. There is a great deal of interaction going on between the players and the fans here at Bryant University. That kind of hospitality can't be found everywhere.

Final Thoughts

Since Bryant University made the move to Division I status, they have struggled to escape the shadows of other local universities such as Providence College, Brown University, and the University of Rhode Island. While they lack the history and followings that the other schools enjoy, Bryant is slowly growing their athletic programs and have enjoyed a great deal of success in many sports. While the facilities and programs here can't be considered big-time, the laid-back, friendly atmosphere is perfect for families or the casual fan. Bulldog Stadium, with its bulldog statues guarding the entrances, is a wonderful place to spend a fall afternoon.

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Local Food & Drink

Parente’s Restaurant  (map it!)

1114 Douglas Pike

Smithfield, RI 02917

(401) 231-7600

http://www.parentesrestaurantri.com/

J’s Deli  (map it!)

285 Washington Hwy

Smithfield, RI 02917

(401) 231-0823

http://www.jsdeliri.com/

Local Entertainment

Twin River Casino  (map it!)

100 Twin River Rd

Lincoln, RI 02865

(877) 827-4837

http://www.twinriver.com/

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