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Dunkin Donuts Center

Providence, RI

Home of the Providence Friars

3.7

3.1

Dunkin Donuts Center (map it)
1 LaSalle Sq
Providence, RI 02903


Providence Friars website

Dunkin Donuts Center website

Year Opened: 1972

Capacity: 12,400

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Dunkin' With the Friars

Providence College is a small liberal arts college located about two miles from downtown Providence, Rhode Island. It is the only college in North America administered by the Dominican Friars. With a total enrollment of just over 4,500 students, Providence College is the smallest school in the Big East Conference.

Back in the late 1960's and early 1970's Providence College was an emerging national powerhouse on the collegiate basketball scene. During this time the team played their home games in the cozy on-campus Alumni Hall, which seated only 2,620. Demand for Friars tickets was so great that a new, downtown arena was built to house both the Friars' men's basketball team and the American Hockey League's Providence Reds. The Providence Civic Center, now named the Dunkin' Donuts Center (or "The Dunk" locally), has been home to the Friars since its opening in 1972.

The Friars are a founding member of the Big East Tournament, and Providence has been the home base of the conference since its founding in 1980. The Friars have qualified for 18 NCAA Tournaments, reaching the Final Four in both 1973 and 1987. In addition, Providence has made the NIT Tournament 19 times, winning titles in 1961 and 1963.

3.7

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    3

For a building the size of the Dunkin' Donuts Center, the concessions are rather disappointing. Visiting fans may immediately be disappointed that the two Dunkin' Donuts stands here do not sell donuts, just coffee.

The majority of the food options at The Dunk are located at the food courts located on either side of the building. New England arena staple Papa Gino's pizza is sold out of one stand, which also features meatball subs, nachos, pulled pork sandwiches and ceasar salads. The other stand at each food court sells hot dogs, burgers, sausage sandwiches, chicken fingers and french fries.

Fans looking for healthier choices can choose from chicken salad or buffalo chicken wraps, along with hummus and chips at one concession stand.

Assorted snacks, including peanuts, popcorn, pretzels and candy are sold at all stands. Perhaps the most popular item sold at The Dunk is fried dough, which is sold out of a pair of portable stands on the concourse. Other portable carts feature Dippin' Dots ice cream.

Pepsi products are featured at The Dunk. Thirsty Friar fans will be pleased with the wide variety of beer available here, including Budweiser, Bud Light, Heineken, Coors Light, Guinness, Yeungling, Blue Moon, Shock Top and Goose Island. Prices are a bit steep, with beer prices ranging from $8-$13 depending on the brand and size. An assortment of wine and mixed drinks are also sold at The Dunk.

Atmosphere    4

The Friars are kings of the Rhode Island sports scene, and The Dunk is the place to be on Saturdays in Providence. While the crowds may be a bit smaller during the early months of the season, there is a great home court advantage here when the Big East schedule gets going, or when one of Providence College's traditional rivals is in town. Tickets to the annual PC-URI game are among the hardest to come by all season.

Veteran college basketball fans will be familiar with all the elements present at The Dunk during a Providence College basketball game. While there is no pep band here, there is a DJ who keeps the arena filled with noise during all play stoppages. The Friar cheerleaders and dance squads perform throughout the game, and no PC game would be complete without the antics of Friar Dom, the unique and very active school mascot, who roams the arena interacting with young fans, dancing his way through the game, and even participating in stunts with the cheerleaders.

The Dunk features a giant video board at center court, which shows game stats and highlights, and is put to good use during pregame festivities. Younger fans are kept entertained with contests and t-shirt tosses during stoppages.

Neighborhood    5

The Dunkin' Donuts Center is located in downtown Providence, which has a well-deserved reputation as one of the finest culinary small cities in the nation. There are no shortage of choices for visiting fans to choose from in the immediate vicinity of the Dunkin' Donuts Center. Trinity Brewhouse, directly across the street from the Dunk, offers a variety of craft beers. Legendary Federal Hill, a traditional Italian neighborhood packed with several outstanding restaurants, both Italian and other, is located just a short walk from the arena.

Take a short walk in the opposite direction (you don't even have to walk outside), and you will arrive at the Providence Place Mall, a shopping center jammed with several levels of stores and restaurants. Fans looking for things to do outside the realm of sports can visit the Rhode Island State House located adjacent to the mall, the Trinity Repertory Company, a nationally renowned theater company, the Providence Performing Arts Center, which hosts several national Broadway shows and concerts, or the Arcade, the nation's first indoor shopping center. All are located a short walk from The Dunk.

For those travelers looking for things to do outside of Providence, Boston is located a short hour drive away. The mansions of Newport are about a 45 minute drive south, and Cape Cod is about an hour away to the southeast. The twin casinos of Connecticut, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, are located an hour to the west.

Fans    4

Several solid seasons on the court for the Friars, including tournament appearances in each of the past three seasons, have had a positive effect on attendance. Attendance, which was annually in the neighborhood of about 8,000 per game, increased to just under 10,000 for the 2015-2016 season. This placed Providence in the top 50 in attendance nationwide.

If planning to come to a late season conference game, or a game against a local rival like Rhode Island or Boston College, plan to get your ticket in advance, as they can be tough to come by.

The Dunk is located two miles from the Providence College campus, so students are bussed downtown for games. The site of hundreds of PC students unloading from their busses along Sabin Street can get any fan pumped up for the upcoming action. The student sections lead cheers throughout the game, helping to create a great home court advantage for the Friars.

The locals in attendance don't take a back seat to the students. The entire arena stands until after the first Providence basket. There are fans in the crowd who have been following the team since the school's glory days in the 1960's, so there can be no doubt how dedicated and knowledgeable they are.

Access    4

The Dunkin' Donuts Center is located directly off interstate 95 in downtown Providence. Be sure to give yourself some extra time if coming to a weekday game, as traffic on the highways running through Providence are typically snarled at this time. Exit 21 (Atwells Ave./Broadway) will deposit you a block from The Dunk. Fans traveling to Providence via public transportation will be pleased to know that The Providence Train Station is a short walk from the Dunk, and is a regular stop on the busy northeast corridor. Kennedy Plaza, which is the downtown hub for most RIPTA bus routes, is also a short 5 minute walk from the Dunk.

There are several parking lots and garages in the immediate vicinity of the arena, which charge from $10-$20 for parking. In addition, fans can park in the garage at the nearby Providence Place Mall. Parking for a game will cost you $5, and the Mall is connected by indoor corridors through the Convention Center and Westin Hotel to the Dunkin' Donuts Center. In the cold winter months, one does not even have to step foot outside to attend a game at the Dunk. Parking at the mall is not recommended during the Christmas season, as it gets incredibly busy at this time.

There is plenty of on-street parking in the area, but be warned that meters run in downtown Providence Monday through Saturday from 9am-6pm. The city of Providence has removed a great deal of the on-street parking that used to be available in the area, and has placed parking meters in many areas that formerly had none. These meters are in effect from 9am-9pm Monday through Saturday, so pay close attention to signage if parking on-street.

The Dunkin' Donuts Center has a spacious lobby, which fans will pass through as they enter the arena onto the main concourse. The concourse is easily navigated, although bottlenecks develop during halftime, especially around the food courts. Likewise, lengthy lines form at the restrooms during halftime. Otherwise, fans should experience no trouble getting around the facility.

The seating bowl at the Dunk is divided into upper and lower levels, with private boxes located along the top of the seating bowl. Seats are new, thanks to an extensive renovation completed in 2008, and pretty comfortable. Sight lines from all sections of the arena are good. Fans requiring handicapped seating will be happy to know that several accessible seating areas are available at the top of the 100 level section.

Return on Investment    3

Providence College utilizes variable pricing for their games at The Dunk. Prices vary widely depending on where you would like to sit. Upper level seats on the ends cost between $12 and $17, with upper level sideline seats running from $32 to $37. Lower level seats range from $22-$27 (end zone) to $85-$90 (center court). The premium tickets feel a bit pricey for college basketball in this area, but Providence College is the top dog on the Rhode Island sports scene, and the prices reflect this.

Parking in the area can be quite pricey, costing up to $25 for some games. Fans looking to seek out less expensive options search for on-street parking, or park at the Providence Place Mall to save a few dollars. Likewise, concession prices run on the high side, but with the many excellent dining options in the immediate area, fans are not hostage to paying arena prices. With a little planning, a night at a Friars' game can be very affordable.

Extras    3

An extra point is awarded for the sense of history and accomplishment present at the Dunk. Banners hang from the rafters honoring the many successful Friars teams of the past. Final Four appearances, conference championships, and tournament appearances are all commemorated here. In addition, several retired numbers are honored with banners at the Dunk. Casual basketball fans may be surprised by some of the names of players who played in Providence, including NBA top 50 honoree Lenny Wilkins.

Providence College is remarkable for the effect it had on modern college basketball today. As the founding member of the Big East, today's superconferences can trace their roots directly to Providence College. In fact, in the front offices of the arena is the table where the Big East conference was formed. It is commemorated by a plaque. The great majority of the fans who visit here will never see this piece of history, but The Dunk played a very important role in today's college basketball landscape.

A final extra point for Friar Dom, one of the most unique mascots in the country. It's not often you see a giant monk atop a twirling pyramid of cheerleaders, but here in Providence, you will be sure to see just that.

Final Thoughts

Providence, Rhode Island may not be a place where you would expect to find a rabid college basketball following. But make no mistake, Providence College basketball is the king of the Rhode Island sports scene. In fact, you could make a strong case that the Friars are the second most successful team in all of New England, trailing only the University of Connecticut. The Dunk is a solid mid-sized facility, and the recent success of the Friars has breathed new life into the arena. Unless you come to Providence expecting to get a dozen donuts during the game, you won't be disappointed.

Follow Paul Baker's stadium journeys on Twitter @PuckmanRI.

Donuts

When I was there in 2004, you couldn't find a donut in the place. Aa a fat guy, that drove me crazy. It appears from the photos that is no longer the case.

by CigarBoy | Mar 09, 2011 05:39 PM

Donuts now available

Indeed, there is now a Dunkin' Donuts inside the arena, so you won't have any trouble getting your fill. I myself would opt for the fried dough with powdered sugar though...

by jonah | Mar 10, 2011 03:54 AM

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Crowd Reviews

Slam Dunk

Total Score: 2.86

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 2

It doesn't get much more New England than the Dunkin' Donuts Center - the name says it all. Suffice it to say you won't find Starbucks in here. A solid all-around venue with not too many frills, the place has what you need as a fan, no more, no less. In Boston you've got your tourists and fair-weather fans; in Providence, you avoid the "just-there-to-be-seen" crowd and find yourself surrounded by other folks who are simply there to take in the game. The Providence College Friars basketball program has had its share of glory days, including the 1987 Rick Pitino-coached final four team (featuring Billy Donovan at point guard), as well as a Big East championship in 1994 and an Elite Eight trip in 1997. While the program has not been to the NCAA tournament since 2004, when they were led by current Los Angeles Clipper Ryan Gomes, they remain a popular attraction in the Ocean State.

Friar Dunk

Total Score: 3.43

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 2

Providence College is a small liberal arts college located about two miles from downtown Providence, Rhode Island. It is the only college or university in North America administered by the Dominican Friars. With a total enrollment of just over 4,500 students, Providence College is the smallest school in the Big East Conference.

Back in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s Providence College was an emerging national powerhouse on the collegiate basketball scene. During this time the team played their home games in the cozy on-campus Alumni Hall, which seated only 2,620 at the time. Demand for Friars tickets was so great that a new, downtown arena was built to house both the Friars men’s basketball team and the American Hockey League’s Providence Reds. The Providence Civic Center, now named the Dunkin’ Donuts Center (or “the Dunk” locally), has been home to the Friars since its opening in 1972.

The Friars are a founding member of the Big East Conference, and Providence has been the home base of the conference since its founding in 1980. The school was a perennial contender for the national title back in the 1960’s, when they won two NIT tournament titles (1961 & 1963). In recent years the program has seen more downs than ups, but has enjoyed occasional success, and has two Final Four appearances (1973 & 1987) on their resume.

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Local Food & Drink

Trinity Brewhouse  (map it!)

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The Vig  (map it!)

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Local Entertainment

Providence Place Mall  (map it!)

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Trinity Repertory Company  (map it!)

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Lodging

Providence Biltmore  (map it!)

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Hilton Providence  (map it!)

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(401) 831-3900

http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/rhode-island/hilton-providence-PVDPRHF/index.html

Omni Providence Hotel  (map it!)

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The Dean Hotel  (map it!)

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Hotel Providence  (map it!)

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