Beirne Stadium - Bryant Bulldogs Lacrosse
Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.71
1150 Douglas Pike
Smithfield, RI 02917
Year Opened: 1999
Bryant Bulldog Lax
Beirne Stadium, formally known as The David M. ’85 and Terry Beirne Stadium, was dedicated in honor of the Bryant alumnus, longtime University Trustee and his wife, who are among the largest benefactors of the University. Originally built in 1999 as Bulldog Stadium to coincide with the debut of the school’s football team, the facility holds 4,400 fans and serves as home to the Bulldog football and lacrosse teams.
Renovations to Beirne Stadium took place in 2018, which included the installation of permanent lighting (making this the first college stadium in Rhode Island with permanent lighting) and the same FieldTurf surface used by the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Speaking of the Patriots, the team used this site for their training camp from 1976-2002.
After competing for several seasons in the Northeast Conference, Bryant joined the America East Conference on July 1, 2022. Despite only existing since 2009, the Bulldogs have qualified for five NCAA tournaments, most recently in 2021. They may best be known for their 2014 tournament appearance, when they upset the number-2 ranked Syracuse Orangemen in the opening round.
Food & Beverage 1
The concession stand, located on the south end of the main grandstand, is open during Bulldog lacrosse games. Operated by other Bryant sports teams as a fundraiser, only basic snacks are sold during games. Fans can pick up some chips, cookies or candy along with bottles of Coca-Cola products here. Fans are also able to bring in snacks to enjoy during the game.
Lacrosse games, more so than many other “minor” college sports, attract dedicated fans and promote a fun atmosphere. From the moment you enter the large parking lots at Bryant University and work your way through the many tailgating setups here, you’ll know you’re in for a good time. The party zone at field level in front of the Strength and Conditioning Center is a popular place from which to continue the festive atmosphere during the game.
What lacrosse fans may lack in quantity, they more than make up for in quality. Many of the fans in attendance have a personal connection with players on the team, and are boisterous in their support of the Bulldogs. The metal floorboards at Beirne Stadium are most conducive to noisemaking, and many fans love to stomp their feet after a big play or to rile up the crowd. With the Bulldogs’ schedule consisting of many local teams, it’s not unusual to see a good turnout from visiting fans as well.
There is a video board at the northeast corner of the stadium which is put to good use with replays, graphics and the occasional hype video. The sound system is excellent, with music and PA announcements augmenting the action on the field.
Bryant University is located in Smithfield, RI, about a twenty-minute drive from Providence. Although Smithfield is a very nice place to live, it’s certainly not a destination location, and there is not much to see or do near the Bryant campus.
Dining options near Bryant University are few. Parente’s Restaurant is a favorite of students, as much for its location near campus as for its reasonably priced comfort food. J’s Deli serves up an impressive variety of submarine sandwiches and Blackie’s offers traditional neighborhood pub grub. Several national chain restaurants and shopping options are located about a 10-minute drive away on Route 44. Fans visiting from out of town should take the 20-minute drive to Providence, which has no shortage of top-notch restaurants.
The same can be said for lodging options in Smithfield. There are a few decent options on Douglas Pike near campus, but visitors may be better served to check out Providence or Boston for places to stay or things to do. Twin Rivers Casino is in nearby Lincoln. If spending time in a casino is on your agenda, the twin resorts of Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are located an hour away over the Connecticut state line.
As mentioned earlier, lacrosse fans are a different breed, wholly dedicated to their teams and vocal in their support throughout the game. A lacrosse game is a fun place to be on a beautiful spring afternoon, and fans are welcoming to newbies and even opposing fans.
Stadium Journey attended Beirne Stadium on a beautiful April Saturday afternoon with an announced crowd of about 500 in attendance. This appears to be a pretty typical lacrosse crowd at Bryant. The crowd mainly consists of family members and friends of players with a few members of the student body thrown in for good measure. Remember that the lacrosse season begins in February and goes until May. Crowds in this part of the country start off small and grow as the weather warms throughout the season.
Bryant University is located in suburban Smithfield, Rhode Island, 13 miles from Providence. The campus is most easily accessed by car. Visitors to Bryant will simply take exit 15B off Interstate 295. The campus is just over a mile away from the Interstate on Route 7.
Beirne Stadium is located on the northern edge of the Bryant campus alongside the school’s other athletic facilities, including Conaty Park and Chace Athletic Center. For many years Bryant was primarily a commuter school, so there are ample parking lots around, including adjacent to the stadium.
Fans using public transportation to arrive at Bryant will find a Rhode Island Public Transportation (RIPTA) bus station on the Bryant campus, offering service every 40 minutes to downtown Providence. T.F. Green Airport is 20 miles away, with Boston’s Logan Airport an hour’s drive away. Train service to the area is provided by Amtrak, which has its downtown Providence station 20 minutes away.
Beirne Stadium consists of two sets of stands, a 3,200-seat structure on the home side, which houses the press box, locker rooms, and restrooms, and bleachers that can hold up to 1,200 on the visitor’s side. Most of the seats in the larger structure are metal bleachers, with three hundred individual bucket seats located in the center sections. There is a walkway along the front edge of the grandstand, so choose seats a row or two up from the bottom to avoid obstructions.
For those fans requiring handicapped access, there is ample seating at the front of the grandstand, as well as some room fieldside to stand (or sit) and take in the game. Paved paths run around the exterior of the field. There are two restrooms underneath the stands that serve the facility. They are large enough to accommodate a typical Bryant lacrosse crowd.
Return on Investment 5
Tickets to Bulldog lacrosse games are sold as general admission seating for $10. Discounts are available for youths and seniors. With free parking in the large lot adjacent to the stadium and inexpensive concessions, an afternoon at a Bulldog lacrosse game is a most affordable entertainment option for Rhode Island sports fans.
An extra point is awarded for the Bulldog theme going on at Beirne Stadium. Twin bulldog statues guard both entrances to the facility. Throughout the game you are likely to bump into IronClad Tupper II, a live bulldog who can be seen roaming around Beirne Stadium all afternoon. Even if Tupper is not at the game, you’re sure to bump into several four-legged lacrosse fans during your visit. Even canines that don’t identify as bulldogs are welcome.
Beirne Stadium is an intimate, comfortable facility, which fits the needs of Bryant lacrosse perfectly. It’s a wonderful place to spend a beautiful Rhode Island spring afternoon enjoying some tailgating and sports action.
Follow Paul Baker’s stadium journeys on Twitter and Instagram @PuckmanRI.