W.B. Mason Stadium - Stonehill Skyhawks Lacrosse
Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.43
W.B. Mason Stadium
320 Washington St.
North Easton, MA 02356
Stonehill Skyhawks lacrosse website
Year Opened: 2005
On April 5, 2022, tiny Stonehill College, a private Catholic school located in Easton, Massachusetts with an enrollment of 2,500 undergraduate students, announced it was moving all its athletic teams to the NCAA Division I level, effective in the fall of 2022. Prior to 2022, Stonehill was a member of the Northeast-10 Conference in NCAA Division II. Upon its elevation to Division One, Stonehill joined the Northeast Conference.
Stonehill’s athletic teams competed for years as the Chieftains. In 2002 the school decided to change its nickname. After considering several options, Stonehill officially changed its nickname to the Skyhawks in 2005. This name has no connection to a bird or animal but does have a connection to the school’s history.
After the school’s property was purchased by the Congregation of Holy Cross, an airfield on site was leased to the Navy during World War II and to private companies afterwards. The airfield was closed in 1955 as the college grew, but the Navy continued to use the land for training exercises and would employ the Skyhawk aircraft between 1954–1995.
W.B Mason, a business supply company headquartered in neighboring Brockton purchased the naming rights for the facility. The company, led by CEO and Stonehill alumnus Leo Meehan, pitched in $1.5 million of the $4 million construction cost of the stadium. The playing field is dedicated in honor of Tim “Cogs” Coughlin, a class of 1980 alumnus and member of the Stonehill football team, who lost his life in the attacks on the World Trade Center. In addition to serving as home to the Skyhawks lacrosse team, W.B. Mason also serves as home to Stonehill’s field hockey, football and track and field teams.
Food & Beverage 0
There are no concessions sold at W.B. Mason Stadium for lacrosse games. Fans are able to bring their own snacks in to enjoy while watching the game. Hot beverages from the nearby Dunkin’ are popular choices on chilly Massachusetts spring afternoons.
There are a lot of sports fans out there who have never experienced a lacrosse game. For those of you who have yet to see a game, you’re missing out. An afternoon at a lacrosse game is a lot of fun, and the Stonehill staff use the resources at W.B. Mason Stadium to put on an entertaining show. There’s a basic scoreboard in the north end zone which displays basic game information, and a PA announcer who performs his job in an unobtrusive manner. Music plays during play stoppages, but that’s not where most of the noise comes from.
As a rule, lacrosse fans are boisterous in their support of the teams down on the field. The crowds at a Skyhawks game can be described as a “friends and family” type of crowd, but what they lack in quantity they make up for in quality. With the compact footprint of the Northeast Conference, you’re likely to see a good turnout from visiting fans as well.
Stonehill College’s suburban location and sprawling campus belies its location in a bustling area with many dining and lodging options for visiting fans. State routes 123 and 138 intersect at the southwest corner of campus. Both routes are pretty busy local roads, lined with strip malls filled with the usual national chains alongside a few local eateries in both directions. Stadium Journey recommends checking out Stoneforge Grill or Brach’s Grill and Tap for your pre- or postgame meal.
While you may not find many attractions in the immediate vicinity of Stonehill, Boston is located just a half hour’s drive to the north. Visiting fans will find no shortage of things to do there. Fans looking for lodging options closer to school should check out the Residence Inn by Marriott right by Route 24.
More information about local accommodations, restaurants and attractions can be found here.
The majority of fans in the stands have a personal connection to the players on the field, and are enthusiastic in their support. A Skyhawks crowd can most accurately be described as a “friends and family” type of crowd.
Stadium Journey attended Stonehill’s second-ever home game as a Division One squad. For both of the Skyhawks’ first two games, attendance has been announced in the vicinity of 200 fans. These figures appear accurate, but as mentioned before, what a lacrosse crowd lacks in quantity, they make up for in quality. Expect crowds to grow as the weather warms.
Stonehill College is located in suburban North Easton, MA, directly to the west of the city of Brockton and 25 miles south of Boston. The campus is easily accessible, as both Interstates 495 and 93 lead to Route 24, which runs north-south just a mile from W.B. Mason Stadium. The stadium is located on the western edge of campus, adjacent to some of Stonehill’s other athletic facilities, including Lou Gorman Field, Merkert Gymnasium and the Sally Blair Ames Athletic Complex.
Fans will find ample parking in the lot in front of the McPhaidin Library located a short walk from the stadium. The entrance to W.P. Mason Stadium is located on the southeast corner of the facility, with the grandstand on the opposite west side of the stadium.
Seating consists of a single grandstand that runs the length of the field. The center sections contain individual molded plastic seats, with the rest of the seating consisting of metal bleachers without backs. This new grandstand is fully ADA compliant and easily accessible for all fans. With the smaller crowds present at Skyhawks lacrosse games, there is plenty of room to spread out.
Unfortunately, the presence of a track surrounding the field pushes the seats a bit further from the action. This is a common feature of the multi-purpose fields that are found at smaller schools. Rest rooms are located in the Sally Blair Ames Athletic Complex, with additional port-a-johns are available behind the grandstand.
Return on Investment 5
Admission to a Skyhawks lacrosse game is free of charge, as is parking. With no concessions, you can attend a game here without spending a cent.
There’s not a lot going on at a Stonehill lacrosse game that can be considered extra. That’s not a knock on the experience by any means.
Stonehill has built themselves a nice group of athletic facilities to create homes for their fledgling Division One program. While the women’s lacrosse team doesn’t get the publicity that some other sports at the school receive, taking in a game at W.B. Mason Stadium is an affordable, entertaining way to spend a nice spring afternoon.
Follow Paul Baker’s stadium journeys on Twitter and Instagram @PuckmanRI.