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  • Paul Baker

New England Sports Village - Northeast Generals

Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.29

New England Sports Village

1395A Commerce Way,

Attleboro, MA 02703

Northeast Generals website

New England Sports Village website

Year Opened: 2016

Capacity: 1,000

Village People

The Northeast Generals are a Tier II junior hockey team that plays in the Providence suburb of Attleboro, MA at the New England Sports Village. The team competes in the North American Hockey League. The squad has qualified for the playoffs twice during their first five seasons in the league.

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 last year.

Food & Beverage 2

A local Chick-fil-A franchise operates a table at Generals games, selling their legendary sandwiches along with some snacks and drinks. In addition, there are a pair of vending machines in the lobby filled with Coca-Cola products.

There is a restaurant at NESV, The Barn, which overlooks the main rink and advertises a locally sourced, upscale menu. However, it was not open during Stadium Journey’s visit, and is reported to have closed.

Atmosphere 2

You wouldn’t expect an over-the-top game day presentation at a small community rink like the one at NESV, and you don’t get one here. The Generals do the best with what resources they have, but the results are not fantastic. Music plays over the PA system during stoppages, and the PA announcer makes the standard announcements, but everything sounds muddied and is difficult to understand over this sub-par system. The team conducts a raffle at every game, but unfortunately, it’s difficult to know what the prizes are or who won due to the limitations of the sound system. Otherwise, it’s a bare bones atmosphere here.

The NAHL is a rapidly growing league, with teams all across the continent. Banners line the far side of the arena highlighting the numerous players who have earned college scholarships, been drafted by NHL teams, or who have signed professional contracts. These numbers grow every year.

Neighborhood 2

There’s nothing in the immediate vicinity of NESV to attract visitors to the area. Fans looking for something to eat or a place to stay in the area will find many options just a couple of miles away on Route One. The options on this strip consist mainly of chain restaurants and hotels, but they are numerous indeed. You are guaranteed to find something you need here.

For a better local experience, out of town fans should drive 15 minutes south on I-95 to Providence, which is consistently rated as one of the best mid-sized cities in the country for food options.

If visiting during the Christmas season, a visit to see the holiday lights at La Sallette Shrine should be on your itinerary.

Fans 2

Attendance at Generals games ranges between 150-250 fans per game. Most of the fans in attendance have a personal connection to the players on the ice, either as billets or as family members. As you may imagine, they are really into the game, creating some excitement in the stands throughout the game.

Access 3

The New England Sports Village is located in suburban Attleboro, MA, located just over the state line about 15 minutes from downtown Providence. Less than a mile from Interstate 95, the complex is easily found if driving to the area. The setup at NESV is a bit odd in that the main entrance is in the rear of the building. There is plenty of parking surrounding the facility.

NESV contains several rinks. The Generals play in the “Premier Rink,” located at the back of the lobby on the right. All seating consists of fiberglass bleachers without backs that run along one side of the rink. The first row of seats is raised about eight feet over the ice surface, and nets run the length of the seating area. Luckily, the netting is white, which makes watching the game much easier. There is some standing room at ice level, which is typically occupied by the younger fans in attendance.

Luckily, the rink is not very cold, as is common in many community facilities like the NESV. If the rink is too cold for you, there are some tables located in the hallway that you can sit at and still watch the action on the ice. Concessions and rest rooms are located in the main lobby.

Return on Investment 4

Tickets for Generals games are priced at seven dollars if purchased in advance on the team’s website or ten dollars if purchased the day of game. Parking is free in the lot adjacent to the facility. The concessions available are inexpensive, making a visit to Attleboro for a Generals game an affordable entertainment option for local sports fans.

Extras 1

The lobby is lined with banners highlighting former Generals players who have gone on to earn scholarships playing Division One hockey. There is a banner behind the Generals bench honoring two-year captain Colin Bilek, whose number 6 was retired by the team. Bilek is currently a senior captain at West Point.

Final Thoughts

There’s not a whole lot to draw fans to this basic, no-frills community rink. However, if you’re a fan of affordable hockey played at a high level, you can do a whole lot worse than a Northeast Generals game at New England Sports Village.

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

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