Rhode Island’s Sports Scene Packs a Big Punch

Impressive facilities and numerous budget-friendly options can be found throughout this New England sports hub


Rhode Island

Did you know the nation’s smallest state is also home to a flourishing sports scene? This coastal New England state doesn’t compromise quality for quantity. The state’s capital, Providence, is home to a wealth of facility options that are sure to make any sports planner’s job easier. From selecting a venue to coordinating travel and logistics, the knowledgeable staff at the Rhode Island Sports Commission, a division of the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau, is here to help. No matter the sport, season, or event size, Providence can take your event to the next level.

Popular Activities

  • Pay a visit to over 160 animals at the Roger Williams Park Zoo, one of the nation’s oldest zoos.
  • Check out the Providence Children’s Museum, where children can build bridges and plan a city in the Iway exhibit, scale a two-story high climbing maze in The Climber, delight in the joys of water play at the Water Ways exhibit and more.
  • The Rhode Island School of Design is one of the world’s leading institutions for art and design and offers visitors a chance to explore its unique museum collections from around the world.
  • Hop aboard an 18-passenger vessel at the Providence River Boat Company and learn about the sites from a knowledgeable tour guide.

Get a Planner’s Perspective

Don’t just take our word for it, hear what these planners had to say.

John Gibbons and his team at the Providence Warwick CVB have been great to work with and has been a tremendous partner of ours. We have grown from six teams in 2008 to 155 teams in 2019 due to their help. We are expanding operations into softball for 2020 here in Rhode Island to have the biggest tournament on the East Coast at 225 teams in these communities by 2020!”

Mark Cooke, Firecracker Baseball

Find Your Perfect Rhode Island Facility

Facility Summaries

Dunkin’ Donuts Center

Sports Covered: Basketball, cheerleading, hockey, multipurpose, volleyball

While Providence has no shortage of impressive sporting venues, the Dunkin’ Donuts Center stands out as “the” destination for sports in Rhode Island. The center features a 31,000-square-foot arena floor and a 25,000-square-foot concourse and can house a whopping 13,000 spectators. Though it was built in 1972, the center underwent an $80 million renovation in recent years. It has played host to major tournaments such as the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, and is open to sports planners looking to think big. As an added bonus, the center is perfect for event planning, as it connects directly to the Rhode Island Convention Center and the adjacent Omni Providence hotel.

Rhode Island Convention Center

Sports Covered: Cheerleading, dance, gymnastics, roller derby, multipurpose

If you’re looking for space, and lots of it, look no further than the Rhode Island Convention Center. Inside you’ll find a 100,000-square-foot exhibition hall, a 20,000-square-foot grand ballroom and 23 multipurpose meeting rooms. For added convenience, visitors can connect directly from the RICC to the Omni Providence hotel and Providence Place mall. Over the years, the RICC has hosted major events in cheerleading, dance, roller derby and much more, so the sky’s the limit when planning your next event.

Brown University

Sports Covered: Basketball, crew, football, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, water polo and much more

Providence is home to Brown University, one of the nation’s eight prestigious Ivy League schools. While it is renowned for its academics, the university also boasts a variety of outstanding venues that host regional and national events and allow sports planners plenty of options to meet their needs. Whether it’s the four newly renovated multipurpose outdoor fields (three turf and one natural grass), a pool rental in the new state-of-the-art aquatics center, use of the 20,000-seat stadium or access to the boathouse situated along the Seekonk River, Brown University’s athletic facilities are top notch and a favorite among sports planners.

Providence Career and Technical Academy

Sports Covered: Basketball, cheerleading, soccer, track and field, wrestling

This school is home to some of Providence’s most state-of-the-art athletic facilities, and offers seating for around 1,800 people in a 65,000-square-foot fieldhouse. Inside the gorgeous steel and glass building you will find space and amenities for sporting events such as track and field meets, basketball games/tournaments, cheerleading competitions and much more – all just steps from the center of downtown.

What are you waiting for?

Let Sports Planning Guide help you plan the perfect event.

John Gibbons

John Gibbons

Executive Director

Telephone: 401-456-0240