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  • Writer's picturePaul Baker

Murray Stadium – Brown Bears


Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.71

Murray Stadium 235 Hope St Providence, RI 02912

Year Opened: 1959 Capacity: 1,000

 

Brown Bears Baseball

 

Brown University has played baseball on the site of Murray Stadium since 1959. Originally known as Aldrich Field, the facility was rechristened as “Attanasio Family Field at Murray Stadium” in 2017 in recognition of the role Mark Attanasio, Brown class of 1979 alumnus and owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, played in securing funding for the renovations to the baseball and adjacent softball fields.

 

Those 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.

 

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. In 2023 the Bears made history when Olivia Pichardo became the first woman to be named to a Division One baseball roster. She appeared in one game that season as a pinch hitter.

 

Food & Beverage 1

 

On certain days throughout the Bears spring schedule, the Bruno Eats food truck is present at the Erickson Sports Complex. Operated by Brown Dining Services, it offers a rotating menu throughout the season. Visiting Bears fans may find a seclection of burgers, tacos, or other snacks available on a given weekend.


If you happen to visit Brown on a weekend when there is no food truck on site, fans are welcome to bring their own snacks to enjoy during the game. On chilly spring Rhode Island afternoons, it’s not unusual to see many fans enjoying warm beverages from the local Dunkin’ or Aroma Joe’s.

 

Atmosphere 2

 

As you would expect at a small facility like Murray Stadium, A basic game day presentation is in order here at a Brown baseball game. With a small crowd in attendance sitting close to the action on the field, baseball purists will enjoy hearing the chatter on the field, coaches barking out instructions to their players, and the ping of the bat on ball.

 

Brown’s athletic staff give fans what they need, and not a whole lot more. A simple scoreboard in right field displays basic game information. The PA announcer gives fans lineup information without being too over the top or intrusive. Music plays in between batters and innings at a decent volume. Fans can enjoy conversations with their neighbors without having to shout. There’s a lot of room around the ballfield for younger fans to roam and chase down foul balls. Fans can exchange a foul ball to the press box in exchange for a chocolate bar and a Brown sticker.

 


Neighborhood 5  

 

Murray Stadium is a part of the Erickson Athletic Complex on the eastern edge of Brown’s urban campus. Located in Providence’s affluent East Side neighborhood, there is much to do in the immediate vicinity of the complex. Most of Brown’s athletic facilities are located here, including Meehan Auditorium, the Paul Bailey Pizzitola Sports Center, Stevenson-Pincince Field and the Brown Softball Field. Brown Stadium is located about a mile away.

 

Just a couple of blocks from the Athletic Complex is Thayer Street, Brown’s main street and the East Side’s main commercial drag. Numerous cafes, restaurants and shops can be found here, including Brown’s bookstore and the Avon Cinema, which dates back to the early 20th century.

 

Other notable areas in the East Side a short walk or drive from Brown University are Hope Street, Wayland Square and Wickenden Street. All have their own bohemian vibes and feature great local restaurants, shops and bars. Of course, downtown Providence is located just at the bottom of College Hill about a mile away from campus. If you’re visiting Providence from elsewhere, this is likely where you will find lodging options in addition to numerous additional dining choices.

 

Providence has a well-deserved reputation as one of the finest small cities in the country for foodies. Visitors to the area will find more than enough choices to satisfy even the most adventurous of palates. If staying in Providence isn’t appealing enough, Boston is an hour’s drive to the north, with the mansions and beaches of Newport about 45 minutes south.

 

Fans 2

 

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.

 

Access 3  

 

Murray Stadium is located in Brown University’s athletic complex on the East Side of Providence. While the Brown University campus is located near both Interstate 95 and 195, there is no direct way to get to or from campus. 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. The 2024 closure of the Washington Bridge, the main way to access Providence from all points on the East Bay, has only made getting into the city more difficult.

 

Several RIPTA busses run regularly to nearby Thayer Street, and the Brown campus is just a short distance from Murray Stadium. 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 in the streets around the stadium. Finding an available spot is usually not too hard to do on weekends. Patient visitors should be able to find spots within easy walking distance of the ballpark.

 

Murray Stadium is located on the far 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. There are no permanent rest room facilities at Murray Stadium. Fans will have to make due with several port-a-johns located behind the press box.



Return on Investment 5

 

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.

 

Extras 1

                                                                                                           

Brown displays information about their long athletic history throughout the Erickson complex. At Murray Stadium you will find plaques honoring Edward Aldrich, the Murray family and the Attanasio family, all of whom are namesakes of this facility.

 

Final Thoughts

 

Murray Stadium isn’t fancy, but it’s an intimate, comfortable place to watch some quality baseball on a beautiful spring New England afternoon.

 

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 and unpredictable. Postponements and schedule changes are common occurrences. It’s best to make your plans flexible if possible.

 

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

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