Murray Stadium – Brown Bears
Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.57
Murray Stadium 235 Hope St Providence, RI 02912
Year Opened: 1959 Capacity: 1,000
Brown Bears Baseball
Murray Stadium has been home of the Brown Bears baseball team since 1959. Recent renovations to the facility were completed in time for the 2017 season. These renovations featured the installation of synthetic turf at the stadium, sunken dugouts, a new backstop, expanded batting tunnels and bullpens, and a new and improved scoreboard and press box. In addition, new chairback seating was installed in the seating bowl. The field was re-christened as Attanasio Family Field at Murray Stadium in recognition of the role Mark Attanasio, Brown University class of 1979 alumnus and owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, played in funding the $5 million project.
Brown has qualified for the NCAA Tournament only once in their history, in 2007. They have yet to make it to the College World Series. 39 Brown alumni have made it to the major leagues, but this number includes only one player since the 1930s. Rhode Island native Bill Almon was the first overall pick by the San Diego Padres in 1974 and went on to have a 15-year major league career.
Food & Beverage 1
There is food available at Murray Stadium for those fans who want to work for it. Frenchy’s catering, who handles the concessions at all Brown University athletic events, operates a stand at the Pizzitola Center, a bit of a walk from the ball field. A basic menu is available here, including hot dogs, pizza slices and assorted snacks. Coca-Cola products are sold here, with coffee and hot chocolate very popular items during cold Rhode Island spring afternoons.
Fans are free to bring their own items to Murray Stadium to enjoy during the game. With the many shops of Thayer Street close by, it’s not uncommon to see fans enjoying the action with outside food.
College baseball fans will find a lot that is familiar with the game day presentation at Murray Stadium. With the small crowds in attendance and the proximity of the cozy grandstand to the field, it’s possible to hear the chatter in the infield, coaches shouting instructions to their teams, and the ping of the bat when contact is made. There isn’t a whole lot of extraneous noise to distract from the action going on down on the field. It’s a baseball purist’s dream.
Walk-up music is played for each batter, and announcements are kept simple, with only lineup changes and inning recaps given over the PA system. A simple scoreboard in right-center field displays the line score and little more. Kudos to the game day staff for their rotation of 80s R&B during between-inning breaks.
Murray Stadium Scoreboard, Photo by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey
The Pizzitola Sports Center is located in the Erickson Sports Complex on the affluent East Side of Providence, adjacent to several other Brown University athletic venues. Also located here are the Pizzitola Sports Center, Stevenson-Pincince Field, and Meehan Auditorium.
Brown baseball fans looking for things to do before or after a game will find a multitude of things to do within a short walk of Murray Stadium. Thayer Street, the main campus drag, is only two blocks from the athletic complex and is filled with quaint shops, restaurants, and bars. Nearby Hope Street continues the eclectic vibe of the east side with more locally owned shops and places to eat. Fans who would like to sample more of Providence’s nightlife should head over to Wickenden Street or Fox Point, both a short drive from campus.
Downtown Providence is only a mile and a half away at the bottom of College Hill. Providence enjoys a well-deserved reputation as one of the finest culinary destinations in the country, and visitors to the area will find more than enough choices to satisfy even the most adventurous of palates.
The fans at Brown baseball games can be described as a “friends and family” type of crowd. Attendance at Bears games generally ranges between 100-200 fans per game. With a multitude of events going on simultaneously at the sports complex on spring weekends, it’s not unusual to see fans roam from game to game over the course of the afternoon.
Most of the fans at Murray Stadium have a personal connection to the players on the field and are very enthusiastic in their support of the Bears. With Brown playing a schedule loaded with local teams, it’s not unusual to see a solid turnout from supporters of the visiting nine.
Murray Stadium is located in Brown University’s athletic complex on the East Side of Providence. While the Brown University campus is located near several highways, there is no direct way to get to or from Brown Stadium. If driving, one must navigate a maze of neighborhood streets before arriving at the facility. If attending a game during a weekday, Providence can be a tough city in which to get around.
Several RIPTA buses run regularly to nearby Thayer Street, and the Brown campus is just a short distance from the facility. Check the RIPTA website for schedules, fares and route maps.
Parking is available for Brown baseball at no charge in any of several small lots shared by the university’s athletic venues. A map to these lots can be found here. Fans unable to find a spot in the lots will find free on-street parking within walking distance of the stadium. Finding an available spot is usually not too hard to do on weekends.
Murray Stadium is located on the southeast side of the Erickson complex, beyond Stevenson-Pincince Field. Recent renovations to the facility changed some of the seating in the small grandstand from bleachers to individual folding stadium seats. Metal bleachers with backs remain in the furthest sections down the lines. There is some standing room at the top of the seating bowl. Netting obstructs the views from all seats at Murray Stadium. There are no permanent rest room facilities; fans will have to make due with several port-a-johns a short walk from the field.
Return on Investment 4
There is no charge to attend a Brown baseball game. Fans are welcome to bring in their own refreshments, and parking is free in the Erickson Complex parking lot or on the streets in the area. Going to a Brown Bears baseball game will not cost you a cent.
An afternoon at a Brown baseball game is a pretty bare bones (pun intended) experience. The team hands out free rosters, and the recently completed renovations have made the seating much more comfortable for visiting fans.
There’s not a whole lot to separate Murray Stadium from the many other small college ballparks that dot the northeast. Still, it’s a comfortable, intimate, inexpensive place at which to take in some quality baseball.
Fans planning to visit Providence should keep in mind that the baseball season takes place mostly during the months of March and April, when the weather in New England can be fickle. Postponements and schedule changes are common occurrences. It’s best to make your plans flexible if possible.