Chace Athletic Center – Bryant Bulldogs
The Thrill of the Chace
The Elizabeth and Malcolm Chace Wellness and Athletic Center opened in 2001 as the home of the Bryant University Men’s and Women’s basketball teams. It also is the home of the Bryant Volleyball team. The men’s basketball team has only been competing in Division One since 2008-09.
Bryant is still trying to claim its first NCAA Tournament appearance. It competes in the Northeast Conference with teams like Central Connecticut, Mount St. Mary’s and Fairleigh Dickinson. It is a solid venue to take in some college basketball in New England.
Food & Beverage 2
The only food available at the Chace Athletic Center is a small concession stand right outside the entrance to the court. You won’t find anything other than the basic fan food such as popcorn, pretzels and candy. However, Bryant University is not far from fine dining establishments in Smithfield and Providence. A short drive will get you to a large selection of different food options.
If you’re looking for a soft drink, Coca-Cola is the provider at Chace Athletic Center. If you’re looking for alcohol you won’t find any at this on-campus venue.
When you come to attend a game at Bryant University you can’t expect to get a big time college basketball type of experience. You get a small school, intimate venue kind of experience. The Chace Athletic Center checks off all of the college basketball game day boxes. You have a pep band, cheerleaders, a dance squad, and an announcer rattling off sponsors and contests. Students compete in shooting contests for prizes, t-shirts are thrown, and there is never a stoppage in action that doesn’t include some sort of music. The pep band isn’t too impactful but makes its presence known from time to time. There are also scoreboards at both ends of the court that give a good amount of information to the fans.
Bryant University is located in Smithfield, Rhode Island. Smithfield itself is a nice area which is pretty safe. It’s fine to walk around the area and the campus at night. There are a couple local restaurants around but there is not a ton to do in the direct vicinity of the campus. If you don’t mind taking a bit of a drive (15-20 minutes) you can find a wider array of options, including Stadium Journey’s favorite, Federal Hill in Providence. There is also gambling in the area if that is something you enjoy. Twin River Casino in Lincoln has opened a sportsbook so you could go and place a bet on the game and then enjoy it. The casino is only about a 10-15 minute ride away from Bryant’s campus. For hotels you can find a few chains in the area such as Hilton and Marriott.
The 2018-19 men’s basketball team averaged 751 fans per game. That number is up a bit from recent years but is still not a very high number. The fans in attendance do make themselves known, though. They are loud at the appropriate times and make a good amount of noise. The majority of fans in attendance are students or relatives of players. The fans certainly won’t bother opposing fans.
Getting to Bryant University is very easy no matter how you choose to get there. It is located close to TF Green Airport (25 minutes away) in Warwick RI. You can take an Amtrak train to Providence and then drive to the arena which would only be 15 minutes or so. Driving to the game is easy as well. Bryant is located on Route 7 which is right off of I-295. There is even an option to take a bus to the campus. The buses are from RIPTA (Rhode Island Public Transportation Authority).
Once on the campus you will find a large amount of free parking adjacent to the arena. The main entrance to the arena takes you into a lobby where you can see the swimming center on one side and the basketball arena on the other. Once inside the gymnasium you’ll notice that in place of the old wooden benches are actual individual arena seats. That was a much needed upgrade that really makes the arena better. The concourse of the Chace Athletic Center is easy to navigate. With the attendance not being huge, crowds aren’t a big concern. This helps allow for easy movement through the arena and the lobby. The bathrooms are nice and clean as well and don’t get crowded.
Return on Investment 4
Going to a Bryant basketball game is really inexpensive. The most expensive courtside ticket is only $25. General admission tickets are $10 and students get in for free. There are also various discounts and ticket specials to bring prices even lower. When you add in the free parking and inexpensive food options, you get one of the most affordable sporting experiences in the state of Rhode Island.
An extra star goes to the improvements the school made to the arena. Going from wooden benches to stadium seating is a big change and one that people notice and appreciate.
Although they find themselves behind Providence College and the University of Rhode Island in the Ocean State pecking order, a day at a Bryant University basketball game is a pretty good time. You can take in Division One basketball for a low cost, and after the game you can head over to Providence to dine at a great restaurant or head to Twin River and put down some bets. Bryant delivers Division One basketball at affordable prices and that’s an awesome deal.
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Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Smithfield
1010 Douglas Pike
Smithfield, RI 02917
Hampton Inn & Suites Smithfield
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Smithfield, RI 02917
Latest Crowd Reviews
In tiny Rhode Island, where Providence College basketball is king, and University of Rhode Island basketball is a solid second, Bryant University is struggling to carve out their own niche among local hoop fans. Still in their first decade as a Division One team, the team’s support has waxed and waned alongside the team’s success on the court.