Conaty Park – Bryant Bulldogs

by | Apr 23, 2018 | Baseball, NCAA Baseball, Paul Baker |

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2.14

 

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Bulldog Baseball

Conaty Park is located on the Bryant University campus in Smithfield, RI. Situated adjacent to Sutton Field, the training camp home of  the New England Patriots from 1976-2002, the ballpark is named for Bryant alumnus Bill Conaty, class of 1967 and benefactor of the university’s baseball and softball programs.

The Bulldogs joined Division One in 2009, and now compete in the Northeast Conference. They have qualified for the NCAA Tournament three times (2013, 2014, 2016). One Bryant alumnus, Keith MacWorther, has played in the Major Leagues.

Food & Beverage 0

There are no food or beverage options at Conaty Park. Fans are welcome to bring their own items into the ballpark to enjoy during the game.

Atmosphere 2

Fans looking for an extravagant game day experience will not find one here at Conaty Park. College baseball in this part of the country is simply not the big deal that it is in other parts of the United States. What you do find at Bryant is a laid-back, understated experience that fits in perfectly here and will be a big hit with baseball purists.

Conaty Park features an excellent sound system that is put to good use with lineup announcements, between inning and batter music, and the occasional sound effect. While the music and PA announcements might be turned up a bit too loud for some, it can hardly be considered intrusive.

Neighborhood 2

Smithfield is a suburb of Providence, RI, located about a twenty minute drive away from Rhode Island’s capital. Although it is a very nice place to live, it’s not a place you would choose as a vacation destination. Bryant features an attractive modern, suburban campus, but there is not a whole lot in the immediate vicinity for visiting fans to see or do.

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. Fans seeking to pick up sandwiches for the game should check out J’s Deli on the way to campus. In fact, it’s not unusual to see several Bulldog fans enjoying their subs at Conaty Park. Those looking for more dining options should take the 20 minute drive to Providence, which is consistently rated as one of the better mid-sized cities in the country for culinary delights.

The same can be said for lodging options in Smithfield. There are a few decent options near the Bryant campus, but visitors to the university would be better served to check out Providence or Boston for places to stay or things to do. For those looking to stay in the immediate neighborhood, Twin Rivers Casino is in nearby Lincoln. If spending time at a casino is in your plans, you will be better served by heading to Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun in nearby eastern Connecticut, about 45 minutes away.

Fans 3

Baseball is not a huge attraction here at Bryant, but the Bulldogs attract a decent crowd at Conaty Park. Many of the fans who fill the grandstand have a connection to the players on the field, and follow the action closely and enthusiastically. With Conaty Park’s location adjacent to the other facilities at Bryant, students stop in throughout the game to watch part of the game before moving on to other activities. When the Rhode Island weather finally breaks, students head to Conaty Park by the dozens to escape the dorms and enjoy the sunshine.

Access 4

Bryant University is located in suburban Smithfield, Rhode Island, 13 miles northwest of Providence. Most visitors to Bryant will arrive by car. The campus is located on Route 7, just a mile from Interstate 295. T.F. Green Airport is 20 miles away, with Boston’s Logan Airport an hour away. Train service is provided by Amtrak, which has its downtown Providence station 15 minutes away. Rhode Island Public Transportation (RIPTA) has a bus station on the Bryant campus, connecting the campus with downtown Providence.

Conaty Park is located on the northern edge of the Bryant University campus alongside the school’s other athletic facilities. Free parking is plentiful in the large lot adjacent to Beirne Stadium, the university’s football venue. The baseball field is located on the far side of the football stadium and soccer pitch. A paved path leads from the parking lot to Conaty Park.

There is seating at Conaty Park’s grandstand for about 300 fans. Seats consist of individual plastic molded seats behind home plate alongside metal bleachers with seat backs. There is additional seating down the right field line on a terraced patio and on a berm beyond the left field fence. Many fans will bring their own lawn chairs and take in the action from these areas. Restroom facilities are located a short distance from Conaty Park at the Conaty Athletic Center.

Return on Investment 2

Attending a game at Conaty Park will cost you eight dollars for a reserved seat and five dollars for general admission seats. Seniors and non-Bryant students are admitted for three dollars, while Bryant students and children 12 and under are admitted free of charge. On the plus side, there is no charge for parking in the large lots adjacent to Beirne Stadium.

Bryant is one of only three Division One schools in all of New England that charge for attending a baseball game. If you would like to avoid the admission fee, just wait. After the fifth inning the ticket table is removed, and fans can enter Conaty Park without charge. If a doubleheader is scheduled, you can still see a game and a half for free.

Extras 2

Free programs are passed out to all fans who enter Conaty Park.

A second extra point is awarded for Ironclad Tupper II, the school’s new live bulldog mascot, who attended his first official Bryant event at Conaty Park on April 21, 2018.

Final Thoughts

Conaty Park is typical of many college ballparks that dot this part of the country. It’s an attractive facility that presents the game in its purest form, without a whole lot of distraction. Baseball fans will enjoy spending a few hours on a lovely spring day taking in a game at Bryant University.

Just remember, college baseball season runs primarily through the months of March and April, and the weather in this part of the country can be unpredictable. Postponements, schedule changes and even changes in venue are commonplace. If planning a trip to Bryant, be ready to be flexible with your itinerary.

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

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Food and Drink Recommendations

Parente’s Restaurant

1114 Douglas Pike

Smithfield, RI 02917

(401) 231-7600

http://www.parentesrestaurantri.com/


J’s Deli

285 Washington Hwy

Smithfield, RI 02917

(401) 231-0823

http://www.jsdeliri.com/


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Entertainment Recommendations

Twin River Casino

100 Twin River Rd

Lincoln, RI 02865

(877) 827-4837

http://www.twinriver.com/


La Gondola

1 Citizens Plaza

Providence, RI 02903

(401) 421-8877

http://www.gondolari.com/


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Lodging Recommendations

 

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Smithfield

1010 Douglas Pike

Smithfield, RI 02917

(401) 231-6300

https://www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/us/en/smithfield/


 

Hampton Inn & Suites Smithfield

965 Douglas Pike

Smithfield, RI 02917

(401) 232-9200

http://hamptoninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/rhode-island/hampton-inn-and-suites-providence-smithfield


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Stadium Info

Conaty Park

1150 Douglas Pike

Smithfield, RI 02917

Bryant Bulldogs baseball website

Conaty Park website

Year Opened: 2000

Capacity: 500

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