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  • Writer's picturePaul Baker

Bill Beck Field - Rhode Island Rams

Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.29

Bill Beck Field

Tootell Road

Kingston, RI 02881

Rhode Island Rams website

Bill Beck Field website

Year Opened: 1966

Capacity: 1,000

Baseball at Bill Beck Field

Baseball was first played at the University of Rhode Island in 1898, just six years after the founding of the school. The Rams have played on the site of their current ball field, Bill Beck Field, since the program’s inception. Since 1981, the team has competed in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

Named for the former URI baseball and football coach, Bill Beck Field is located on the southwestern edge of the school’s Kingston campus, in between Mackal Field House and the Boss Ice Arena. The Ryan Center and Meade Stadium are located a short walk from the baseball field.

The Rams have qualified for the NCAA Tournament one time, in 2005. In addition, Rhode Island has won one conference tournament, two regular season conference titles and three regular season division titles. Three former Rams (Dave Stenhouse, Nick Greenwood and Angelo Dagres) have played in the major leagues.

Food & Beverage 2

There are no concessions available to fans at Bill Beck Field. There is, however, a Subway sandwich shop next door inside the Brandon Boss Arena. The standard Subway menu is available at this small shop. It is open from 9am-8pm daily, meaning if you need something to eat or drink during a Rams baseball game, you have an option.

Fans can bring their own snacks or drinks to enjoy during Rams baseball games, provided no alcohol is brought on premises.

Atmosphere 2

The game day atmosphere at Bill Beck Field is a laid-back one, to be sure. While there is a lot of energy coming from the stands, there’s only so much noise that 100 or so fans can make. If you’re a fan who likes to hear the chatter coming from the dugouts or conversations between players and coaches, you’ll truly enjoy your time here.

Distractions are kept to a minimum here at Kingston. Music is played between innings and batters, and the PA announcements are limited to lineup changes. It’s a baseball purist’s dream, even if the music feels a bit too loud for this type of setting.

Neighborhood 2

Visiting baseball fans looking for dining or recreational activities within walking distance of the University of Rhode Island may be disappointed with the school’s rural location. The URI campus is fairly self-contained, without a great deal of restaurants or places of interest nearby. Those willing to travel a short distance will be rewarded with many wonderful restaurants and sights. The Mews Tavern in nearby Wakefield boasts 69 beers on tap and an extensive bar menu. It is a favorite of the student body. In addition, Narragansett, located 8 miles to the south, Newport, 16 miles to the east, and Providence, 29 miles to the north, offer a wide variety of dining, lodging, and tourist options for the adventurous baseball fan.

There are no lodging options directly adjacent to the URI campus, so fans looking to stay near URI overnight will need to look elsewhere. There are some options in nearby South Kingstown (don’t ask me why “Kingstown” has a “W” and “Kingston” doesn’t, it’s probably a colonial thing) and beyond. Fans looking to make a weekend of their trip to URI would be advised to check out Newport or Providence, both short drives from campus. In addition, Boston is a short 90 minute drive from Kingston.

Fans 2

The crowds at Bill Beck Field would certainly fall into the “friends and family” category. Ranging in size from 100-200 fans, virtually everyone in attendance has a close personal connection with someone on the field. This makes for a crowd that is really into the action going on down on the field, and a high level of enthusiasm. It’s not unusual to see a good turnout by the visiting team’s fans as well.

Access 3

Bill Beck is located on the southwestern corner of the URI campus in Kingston, Rhode Island. The small town of Kingston is located 29 miles south of Providence and 20 minutes south of T.F. Green Airport. Driving to Kingston from Providence will take you about 40 minutes on a normal Saturday. The campus is located on Route 138, approximately a 10 mile drive from I-95 as it passes through southern Rhode Island. The URI campus is served by public transportation, as RIPTA busses have several routes that serve the campus from Providence. In addition, the Kingstown train station is about two miles away from campus, with Amtrak making regular stops at the station.

The seaside towns of Narragansett and Newport are nearby and worth a visit to any out-of-towners visiting Rhode Island. Newport is a well-known tourist attraction with many things to see and do, while Narragansett boasts many fine restaurants and beaches of its own.

Bill Beck Field has seen several improvements in access in recent years. There is little in the way of seating available, with only a single small aluminum bleacher section located behind home plate. There is a nice terraced seating area along the first base side of the field, along with an open area along the third base line, where fans are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs to sit in. There is more than enough room around Bill Beck Field to find your favorite spot to take in the action.

Self Seating on Third Baseline at Bill Beck Field, Photo by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey

There is ample parking available in the lot adjacent to Bill Beck Field. Restroom facilities are located in the Boss Ice Arena next door to Bill Beck Field. It’s a little walk, so plan ahead. The Ice Arena is also where the concessions are located. Lines are not an issue.

Return on Investment 4

There is no charge to attend a Rhode Island baseball game at Bill Beck Field. Likewise, ample parking is available adjacent to the ball field at no charge. If you choose to bring your own snacks, you can take in some action at the sport’s highest level without spending a single red cent.

Extras 1

Bill Beck Field has proven to be a most durable venue, which is a necessity in the unpredictable New England springtime. Several other local schools have used Bill Beck Field when their own home fields have been rendered unplayable due to weather conditions, most notably in 2013, when the finals of the America East Tournament had to be moved here from Edward A. LeLacheur Park.

Final Thoughts

A baseball game at Bill Beck Field is a baseball purist’s dream. There is little going on here to distract from the action on the field. Some may not enjoy this most relaxed of settings, but you can bring your own chair and a cooler, and you won’t have to reach for your wallet even once. It doesn’t get much better than that.

If planning a trip to Kingston, remember that the baseball season here in New England largely takes place in March and April, when the weather can be unpredictable at best. Postponements, cancellations and even changes in venue are common. Be ready to be flexible when coming to Rhode Island.

Follow Paul Baker’s stadium journeys on Twitter and Instagram @PuckmanRI.

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