Central Massachusetts: A Winter (and Summer, and Fall) Sports Wonderland

No matter what time of year you plan sports travel to Central Massachusetts, you’re sure to find more than you expect.

Lake Quinsig

Lake Quinsigamond is the perfect place for rowing.

When you’re planning sport-based travel, you’ve got to look at the whole picture. The facilities. The after-game activities and attractions. The food. A hotel and a playing field are enough if you want to simply host an event, but if you want to create memories, you’re going to need something more. And that’s where Central Massachusetts comes in.

This region — which encompasses part of the picturesque Blackstone Valley as well as the areas around Sturbridge, Wachusett, and Worcester — enjoys warm summers, temperate springs and falls and frosty winters. It’s home to a diverse array of sporting events, including watersports (Wootown Wakefest, US Rowing Eastern Springs the NE-10 Swimming and Diving Championship), ice hockey (NCAA Division I Tournament), Obstacle Races (Tough Mudder: Boston MudRun) and more. Worcester, MA has multiple sports teams, including the Worcester Railers Hockey Club (ECHL), Massachusetts Pirates arena football team. Soon, the city will be the home of the Worcester Red Sox, the AAA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. A new state-of-the-art stadium will soon be under construction in the Canal District.

Notable Recent/Upcoming Events

  • US Rowing Women’s Sprints
  • Pilgrim Invitational Gymnastics Competition
  • Northeast Knockout Cheerleading Competition
  • Professional Disc Golf Association – MVP Open
  • Eastern Synchronized Figure Skating Sectional Championship
  • Spartan Race – Boston Sprint Weekend

CVB/Sports Commissions Services Offered

  • Volunteer Staff
  • PR/Media Assistance
  • Signage
  • Site Visits
  • Transportation Assistance
  • Lodging Services
  • Grant Programs
  • Welcome Bags/Gifts
  • Itinerary Development
  • Event Planning Assistance

Click on tab to see more information about a specific facility

Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center

The Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center is more than just an ice rink. Sure, it has two rinks, a pro shop, and skate rental, like any other rink worth its Zamboni. But this $18 million, 38,000-square-foot facility also has a physical therapy center, retail space, and two eateries: a sit-down Italian restaurant (Nonna’s Pizza + Pasta) and a healthy-food-to-go cafe (Steam Energy Cafe). It’s also home to more than a dozen teams, including pro, adult league, junior, and kid’s teams.

Sports: Hockey, ice skating

Quinsigamond State Park

Credit: Chelsea Ouellet

Lake Quinsigamond is a four-mile long, 772-acre boater and swimmer’s paradise. It has hosted crew regattas since the 1850s and today, its rowing course is regarded as one of the best in the country. The lake is the training ground for local collegiate rowing and has hosted numerous college sports competitions. Its rowing course has even been the proving ground of the U.S. Rowing National Championship. Off the lake, there are tennis courts and multi-purpose fields; picnic areas, grills, restrooms, and shower facilities round out the list of amenities. Pavilions are available to help celebrate a win.

Sports: Rowing, boating, tennis, soccer

Assumption College

There are nine facilities associated with the Assumption College athletic program, including a new six-court tennis complex, Laska Gymnasium (home to the college’s basketball and volleyball programs), baseball and softball fields, an ice hockey arena, and a 1,200-seat Multi-Sport Stadium for field hockey, football, soccer, and lacrosse. Here, you’ll also find the Plourde Recreation Center, which is ideal for swim meets and also includes a fitness center, a weight room, dance studios, racquetball courts, and multi-purpose courts.

Sports: Basketball, volleyball, ice hockey, baseball, softball, football, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, racquetball, golf, swimming, tennis

College of the Holy Cross

The facilities at Holy Cross College are anchored by the Hart Center at the Luth Athletic Complex. A $95-million renovation was completed in April 2018, which included a 64,000 square-foot indoor practice facility, a basketball/volleyball gymnasium, training and conditioning equipment, and new meeting rooms/recruiting spaces. The Luth Athletic Complex is home to the college’s main basketball arena and a six-lane collegiate swimming pool. The college’s field house is also slated for replacement. Current facilities include the 23,000-seat Fitton Field (football, baseball), Freshman Field (softball), a natural-grass soccer stadium, an eight-court tennis complex, Hart Field and Turf Track (track and field, field hockey) and Kuzniewski Field (a lighted, synthetic-turf lacrosse field).

Sports: Basketball, volleyball, ice hockey, baseball, softball, football, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, golf, tennis, swimming

Worcester State University

Sporting life at Worcester State University is anchored by the new Wellness Center. In addition to its meeting rooms, exercise equipment, indoor track, and weights, this facility includes multipurpose and competition gyms and — for after the game — a smoothie bar and lounge.

Other university facilities include the 2,500-seat John Coughlin Memorial Field. This artificial-turf stadium hosts football, soccer, field hockey, track, and lacrosse games. Onsite amenities include lighting, a sound/PA system, and a press box. Nearby, Rockwood Park hosts baseball and softball games.

Sports: Basketball, football, softball, baseball, field hockey, lacrosse, track

DCU Center

The granddaddy of Central Massachusetts sports venues, the DCU Center is home to the Worcester Railers (ECHL hockey) and the Massachusetts Pirates (NAL football). The 15,000-seat venue has undergone extensive renovations recently, which have resulted in more bathrooms, updated flooring, and a new rink infrastructure. In addition to collegiate and pro hockey games, the center has hosted the Harlem Globetrotters, WWE wrestling, and PBR bull riding.

Sports: Football, hockey, basketball, bull riding, wrestling

Things to do in Central Massachusetts

From shopping to sailing, there are lots of after-game activities to make your trip special. In the summertime, boating, swimming, or picnicking at Webster Lake is a local favorite. This is where you’ll find the Indian Ranch resort, which hosts live outdoor entertainment throughout the summer. Not heading to the Webster area?  No worries. There are 100-plus parks throughout Central Mass, so you’re sure to find some green space to enjoy.

For entertainment, The Hanover Theatre in Worcester is one of the region’s leading entertainment destinations. Its live shows feature dance, musicals, kids shows, retro music and top-name singers like Diana Krall and Tony Bennett. And before you hit the theater, visit one of the area’s restaurants where you’ll find hip farm-to-table cuisine, tapas, and stylish New American eateries rubbing shoulders with breweries, steak houses, and relaxed cafes.

Fittingly, one of the main attractions of this region is its museums. There are several notable places of historical interest, including Worcester Historical Museum, the EcoTarium in Worcester, the Worcester Art Museum, and the open-air Old Sturbridge Village, which brings the area’s colonial days to life.

Planner Perspective

Our continual partnership with Discover Central Massachusetts is something that means the world to us here at Wootown Wakefest. DCM is always thinking outside the box for new ways to get people excited about events going on in our area and we couldn’t thank them enough for helping us share the sport we love. Keep doing what you do!

Wootown Wakefest: Mark Portando 

For the past three years, Maple Hill Disc Golf course and our premiere event, the MVP Open (part of the Disc Golf Pro Tour), have worked hand in hand with Discover Central Massachusetts. Our press conferences have grown, interest from the media of all types has increased dramatically. With the increased media and regional awareness, we are getting more and more people coming to watch our international tournament. People drive up to four hours to come watch! DCM is a critical partner working towards our successful future.

Maple Hill Disc Golf: Steve Dodge 

How to Get to Central Massachusetts

By Car:  If you’re driving in from Pennsylvania or the New England area, getting to Central Massachusetts is easy. The area can be easily reached by I-90 and I-91. It’s just an hour’s drive from Boston and Providence, Rhode Island; two hours from Portland, Maine; three hours from New York City, and four hours from Philadelphia.

By Air:  You don’t have to go far to find an airport; Worcester Regional Airport is the local air hub and it handles flights from American Airlines, JetBlue, and regional carrier Rectrix. In addition, Worcester is only 45 minutes from both Logan International Airport in Boston and T.F. Green Airport in Providence.

Contact Information

Company Name: Discover Central Massachusetts

Sports Sales Manager: Stephen Cully

Title: Sales Manager – Sports

Telephone: 508-753-1550

Summary
Central Massachusetts:  A Winter (and Summer, and Fall) Sports Wonderland
Article Name
Central Massachusetts: A Winter (and Summer, and Fall) Sports Wonderland
Description
No matter what time of year you plan sports travel to Central Massachusetts, you’re sure to find more than you expect.
Author
Publisher Name
Premier Travel Media