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  • Writer's picturePaul Baker

Loring Arena - Framingham State Rams


Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.43


Loring Arena

165 Fountain St.

Framingham, MA 01702



Year Opened: 1963

Capacity: 2,500


Framingham State Hockey

 

Loring Arena is a municipal skating facility in Framingham, MA. It opened in 1963 as one of the first public skating rinks in the Boston area. Today the rink serves as home to many area clubs and teams, as well as providing public skating accessibility to the community. A six-million dollar renovation completed in 2018 upgraded the facility and created a dedicated locker room for one of the building’s primary tenants, the Framingham State Rams. The arena is named in honor of Edward F. Loring, who led the Framingham High School hockey team to the state title in 1961. Loring passed away the next year at age 42 due to liver cancer.

 

Framingham State University is a public university located in the Boston suburb of Framingham. With an enrollment of 4,500 students, the school began its existence in 1839 as the first state-supported Normal School in the country. Today the university offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in several majors.

 

Today the Rams compete in the MASCAC (Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference) along with several other small schools in and around Massachusetts. Framingham State has yet to win a conference title or appear in the NCAA Tournament, but they do claim an ECAC championship in 1979. The school has announced that a women’s hockey team will begin play for the 2024-25 season.

 

Food & Beverage 2

 

There is a snack bar in the upstairs lounge area that is accessible to all fans. There’s a basic menu served here, including hot dogs, nachos, pretzels popcorn and assorted candy. Hot and cold beverages are sold, featuring Pepsi products. It’s not the most extensive menu you’ll find, but it will do the trick if you need a snack during the game. The area also overlooks the ice if you’re looking to escape the cold of the rink.


Should the snack bar not be open during your visit, there are some vending machines in the area, one of which serves Dippin’ Dots ice cream.

 

Atmosphere 1

 

The game day atmosphere at a Framingham State hockey game is as bare bones an experience as any you’re likely to come across in your stadium journeys. While the arena seems to have a decent sound system, it is severely underutilized. There are no PA announcements made during the game, so if you’re looking for game updates, you’ll have to rely on the basic information displayed on the small scoreboard on the far end of the rink. Music is played during play stoppages, but during intermission, someone simply switches on the radio to fill the space with some noise.

 

Any energy generated during the game is generated by the fans in the stands, who consist primarily of family members. You won’t see much of a turnout from the student body in this off-campus arena.

 



Neighborhood 4

 

The city of Framingham is located about 20 miles to the west of Boston. It has a population of over 72,000 residents. As you may imagine, a city of this size will have some decent options for those who wish to eat in the area or look for a place to stay. Bowditch Field, home of Framingham State football, is located about a mile and a half to the north.

 

There are no dining or lodging options within walking distance of Loring Arena, but there are many choices along both Route 135, which runs near the rink, or Route 30, which runs past the university. Among the excellent dining options near Loring Arena are La Cantina Italiana, Framingham Station Brazilian Steakhouse and Exhibit A Brewing Company. Visitors looking to stay in Framingham will find numerous options along Route 30, including an Aloft, Residence Inn and Hampton Inn. All are just a short drive from Loring Arena.

 

Of course, if visiting Framingham from out of town, a trip into nearby Boston is most likely on your agenda. Framingham does offer a bit more value than staying downtown, and the Framingham MBTA Station is located less than a mile away from Loring Arena.

 

Fans 2

 

The crowd at a Framingham State hockey game is a “friends and family” type of crowd. Stadium Journey visited Loring Arena on Senior Day on a Saturday night, and the crowd still topped out at about 150 fans. Even though the rink is only two miles from campus, there’s not much of a turnout from the student body. With the majority of the crowd made up of family members, you can be sure that the fans in attendance know their stuff and are very supportive of the players competing down on the ice.

 

With the compact footprint of the MASCAC conference, it’s also very likely that you’ll see a good turnout from visiting fans at a Rams game.

 



Access 4

 

Loring Arena is located in suburban Framingham, about 20 miles west of Boston. The city of Framingham is easily accessed via either Interstate 495 or 90 (the Mass Pike). The Arena is located about two miles south of the FSU campus, near many of the city’s public athletic fields and parks.

 

Ample parking is available in the lot adjacent to the front entrance of the rink. There is a large, bright lobby that contains the skate shop and an ATM, which may be handy to some fans as all transactions here are cash only. The snack bar is located on the lobby’s upstairs level, which is a popular spot to escape the cold of the rink, as you can watch the action from here. Rest rooms are located on both levels of the lobby. They are large and clean.

 

Seating consists of plastic bleachers which run along both sides of the rink. Nets run the length of the ice, obstructing views from all seats. There is plenty of standing room available on both sides of the arena atop the seating area. Fans can also stand at the end of the rink to take in the action.

 

Return on Investment 4

 

Admission to a Framingham State hockey game will cost you seven dollars. Parking in the adjacent lot is free of charge. Concessions are very reasonably priced, with no item costing more than five dollars. At Loring Arena you’ll be able to catch some quality hockey without spending too much money. Just be aware that all transactions here are cash only, so come prepared. There is an ATM in the lobby if you need to grab some cash.

 

Extras 1

 

The old wooden roof that arches over the ice surface harkens back to an earlier time and gives Loring Arena a classic, old-barn look. It’s certainly worth an extra point.




 

Final Thoughts

 

In the state of Massachusetts, hockey is a really big deal. Municipally-owned rinks popped up all around the state during the heyday of Bobby Orr and the Big, Bad Bruins. Loring Arena predates that hockey boom and as a result, features a unique design that sets it apart from many of its peers.


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

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