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  • Writer's picturePaul Baker

Cressy Field - UMass Dartmouth Corsairs

Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.71

Cressy Field 285 Old Westport Rd Dartmouth, MA 02747

Year Opened: 1988

Capacity: 1.850

Corsair Football at Cressy Field

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (better known as UMass Dartmouth) is one of five campuses in the University of Massachusetts system. It is located on the South Coast of Massachusetts, in between the cities of Fall River and New Bedford. The university has an enrollment of over 9,000 students, about half of whom live on campus. The school offers 61 undergraduate programs and 32 graduate programs.

While the majority of UMass Dartmouth’s athletic teams compete in the Little East Conference, the football team (as well as the hockey team) is a member of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference, which is made up of ten small colleges and universities from the state of Massachusetts. The Corsairs have qualified for the NCAA Division Three tournament once in their history.

The home field of the UMass Dartmouth football team, Cressy Field, is named in honor of Peter H. Cressy, Chancellor of UMass Dartmouth from 1993 to 1999. In addition to the football team, Cressy Field serves as home to the men’s and women’s soccer teams, women’s field hockey, and lacrosse teams.

Beginning in 2015, UMass Dartmouth undertook great strides to upgrade its athletic facilities. Recent improvements to Cressy Field include new turf, shock pad, and drainage system, new bleachers, and a press box. In addition, the baseball and softball fields were completely redone.

Food & Beverage 2

There is a small concession stand at Cressy Field operated by the school’s catering service, Chartwells. A limited menu is served. Hot dogs, burgers, chips, bottled water, and cans of Pepsi products are available here. On the plus side, no item on the menu costs more than four dollars.

Atmosphere 2

You wouldn’t expect an elaborate gameday presentation at a small venue like Cressy Field, and you won’t get one here. The experience here is simple and understated. There is a small cheerleading squad that performs over in one corner of the field, out of view of most fans. A small pep band shows up for some games, but they don’t add much to the atmosphere. Most of the noise generated here comes from the stands, as there’s a pretty good turnout from the student body and a really good turnout from the players’ families. As you might expect, they are really into the game.

The best part of the game-day atmosphere at Cressy Field is undoubtedly the incredible public address announcer. With the installation of a new sound system, his crystal-clear voice can be heard long before you arrive at Cressy Field. (Editor’s note: While we can all agree that the UMass Dartmouth PA Announcer is awesome {and also the writer of this review} we cannot ethically allow him to promote his work on this site. We award no extra points, and may God have mercy on your soul).

Neighborhood 3

UMass Dartmouth is a self-contained campus located in the suburban town of Dartmouth, MA, in between the cities of Fall River and New Bedford on the state’s south coast. Route 6, which is lined with businesses, eateries, and lodging options, is a mile from the campus. Visiting fans looking for a bit of local flavor may be disappointed with the endless suburban sprawl of big box stores and restaurant chains, but if you are good with these options, there’s plenty to be found. A complete visitor’s guide to the area around campus can be found here.

Stadium Journey’s favorite spot to visit after a Corsairs football game is Buzzards Bay Brewery, located about a ten-minute drive from Cressy Field in neighboring Westport. Buzzards Bay offers up a variety of excellent craft beers, and on most weekends the brewery features live music and food trucks at their site on a converted farm.

Visiting fans coming to the area may not wish to spend a whole lot of time in either Fall River or New Bedford, two cities struggling with many of the issues facing many poor cities in the northeast. Still, there are places of interest in both cities. Fall River is home to Battleship Cove, the largest collection of World War II naval vessels in the world. Also nearby is the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast/Museum, located in the same house where the infamous murders took place in 1892. The museum is open for tours and fans of the macabre can spend the night at the house. The New Bedford Whaling Museum focuses on the history of the Whaling industry and features a walkable downtown with cobblestone streets near its working waterfront.

There are plenty of attractions in the area for visiting fans. Boston is located about an hour away to the north. Cape Cod is located a half-hour to the east. Providence is a half-hour away to the west, and Newport, with its Gilded Age mansions, is 45 minutes away.

Fans 3

UMass Dartmouth draws between 1,000-1,500 fans per game for football games. One of the great things about going to games at smaller schools is the connection that so many in the stands have with the players down on the field. With many of the players in the game coming from local towns, a great deal of the fans in the stands consists of families and friends. There’s a good turnout at Cressy Field from the student body.

Access 3

Cressy Field is located on the southern end of the UMass Dartmouth campus, alongside the University’s other athletic facilities, including the Tripp Athletic Center.

The town of Dartmouth is located in southeastern Massachusetts, in between the cities of Fall River and New Bedford. Located about an hour’s drive south of Boston, the campus is easily accessed by car, as it is located just a few miles from Interstate 195. Fans utilizing public transportation will take SRTA’s number 14 bus that runs hourly between Fall River and New Bedford. Schedules can be found here.

The UMass Dartmouth has a unique layout, with the majority of the buildings on campus located within a single ringed road that circles the campus. Visitors to UMD will enter on the north side of campus and drive around to the athletic complex on the south side of campus. Parking is available in one of several lots located near the complex a short walk from Cressy Field.

Several paved paths will guide fans through a grove of trees to the football field. Seating is comprised of metal bleachers on either side of the field. There is plenty of room around the field for fans who wish to stand and take in the action. Restrooms are located in the nearby Tripp Athletic Center.

Return on Investment 5

Admission to Corsair games costs only five dollars, with students, children, and seniors admitted at no charge. With free parking and inexpensive concessions, a visit to Cressy Field is an affordable entertainment option for southeastern Massachusetts football fans.

Extras 1

An extra point is awarded for the unique setup and architecture of the UMass Dartmouth campus. The school was named in 2013 by Travel and Leisure as one of the ugliest campuses in the nation. The campus was designed by famed architect Paul Rudolph in the early 1960s in the Brutalist style. To contrast the school’s buildings from the outside world in an attempt to create a social utopian environment, most of the buildings on campus are made entirely of concrete (béton brut) and feature irregular features which attempt to create a more communal atmosphere. To someone who has never visited this campus, imagine that a bunch of gray concrete spaceships landed in a giant open field, and you have the basic design of the UMass Dartmouth campus.

A second extra point is awarded for the Corsairs’ incredible PA Announcer. (Editor’s note: we are not awarding extra points for the author’s other gigs, as good as he may be at them. Sorry UMD.)

Claire T. Carney Library at UMass Dartmouth. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Final Thoughts

There’s not a whole lot going on at Cressy Field to separate it from the hundreds of other small facilities across the country. This is hardly meant as a knock on the UMass Dartmouth football experience, but to state there are gems like Cressy Field across the country, where affordability, good football and local connections combine for underrated Stadium Journeys.

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


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