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  • Writer's picturePaul Baker

New England Sports Village - Northeast Generals

Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.43

New England Sports Village

1395A Commerce Way

Attleboro, MA 02703

Year Opened: 2016

Capacity: 1,000

Village People

The Northeast Generals are a Tier II junior hockey team that competes in the North American Hockey League. The Generals have qualified for the NAHL playoffs in four of their seven seasons of play, losing in the first round each time.

New England Sports Village is a community ice center containing two full-sized NHL rinks, a ¾ sized “studio rink” and a goalie pad. The hockey rinks at New England Sports Village were planned to be the first piece in a larger project that was to eventually contain facilities for soccer, tennis, and swimming in addition to a hotel and field house. However, this additional development has yet to materialize, and the owners of the complex filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 2021 to stave off a foreclosure auction.

On December 19, 2021, the main rink at the facility was renamed the “A.J. Quetta Rink” in honor of the local high school hockey player from Bishop Feehan High School who is recovering from a spinal cord injury suffered during a game at the facility.

Food & Beverage 2

The Blue Line Café, located in the main lobby, offers a basic menu for visiting Generals fans who need a snack. Hot dogs, breakfast sandwiches, muffins, and snacks can be purchased here. If your timing is right, you may find pizza slices, assorted sandwiches, or chicken tenders available. The prices are cheap and the quality is decent. Should the café be closed during your visit, there are several vending machines in the lobby.

Pepsi products are featured at NESV. Coffee and hot chocolate are popular items in the chilly complex. Fans are welcome to bring in their snacks if they wish.

Atmosphere 2

As you might expect in a simple community rink like the NESV, there’s not a lot to the game day presentation. The staff here does the best with the limited tools at their disposal, but are limited by a poor speaker system, which makes PA announcements almost unintelligible. A small scoreboard hangs at center ice, which displays basic game information. With youth hockey games going on at the other rink, you’ll be sure to find kids running around the facility, giving the place a certain energy.

One of the best things about seeing a game at a small rink like the NESV is that you can hear the sounds of the game. You can hear coaches shouting instructions to their players, the officials making their calls, and the players chirping at each other. It’s very enjoyable for serious hockey fans.

Neighborhood 2

The New England Sports Village is located in a suburban neighborhood with nothing of interest in the immediate vicinity. Fans looking for a bite to eat can head to nearby Route 1, the primary business district in Attleboro, where multiple shopping and dining options can be found. Most of the options here are national chains. The local outpost of 99 Restaurant or Miller’s Roast Beef should suit your needs. If you are looking for fine dining, head to Providence, which is known as one of the better mid-sized cities in the country for dining options.

Fans looking for nearby lodging will find several options along this same stretch of Route One, including a Best Western, a Holiday Inn Express, and a Hampton Inn.

If visiting during the holiday season, a trip to LaSalette Shrine is a must. The facility is decked out in lights and is a popular local destination during the holidays.

Fans 2

The crowd at a Generals game is truly a “friends and family” type of group. Virtually every person in the stands has a connection with a player on the ice. This ensures that the fans know hockey and are very involved with the action down on the ice. With the Generals’ schedule consisting almost exclusively of games against other teams from the northeast, it’s not unusual to see fans of the visitors here as well. Attendance averages in the 100-250 range.

Access 4

The New England Sports Village is located in Attleboro, MA, a suburb located about 10 miles northeast of Providence, RI. The facility is located just off Interstate 95, making access to and from the facility easy. Parking and the main entrance are located at the rear of the building as you approach from Commerce Way.

The Generals usually play in the “Premier Rink,” which is straight ahead as you enter the building. Seating consists of metal bleachers without backs raised about eight feet over the ice surface. Nets run the length of the rink, obstructing views from all seating areas. There is a bit of standing room available at ice level. Fans wishing to escape the cold of the rink may choose to watch the action from tables located in the lobby, which have a view of the ice.

The cafeteria and restrooms are located in the main lobby. While the three ice surfaces here are in constant use, lines are not an issue and the facility is clean and attractive.

Return on Investment 4

Tickets to Generals games are sold as general admission for only $10 at the door on game day. Purchasing tickets in advance will save you three dollars. Parking is free in the lot adjacent to the facility.

Concessions are inexpensive, which all add up to a very affordable night of entertainment for local sports fans.

Extras 1

An extra point is awarded for honoring local high school player A.J. Quetta by naming the premier rink for him. There's also an inspirational quote from Quetta on the rink's wall. "If there is a will, there is always a way, my friend."

Final Thoughts

While the New England Sports Village may not qualify as a destination location, it provides affordable, quality hockey for local fans. The North American Hockey League continues to grow and give young hockey players a place to work on their game as they look to move on to college and professional careers.

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

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