Hot Tickets: Providence is the Place to be for Watching College Games

Division hopefuls, new coaches, and affordable prices make for an exciting sports season


With only one professional sports team based in Rhode Island (the P-Bruins), collegiate clubs tend to dominate the local landscape. There’s a vibrant scene in the capital city, home to two Division I schools: Brown University and Providence College (PC). Student athletes at Rhode Island College and Johnson & Wales University, both Division III schools, also compete in National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) sanctioned events. With the fall season already underway, and winter sports arriving soon, we present a round-up of what’s happening at the colleges, along with a handy guide on how best to experience college sports in Providence.


Brown Bears Football Heats Up

One of the highlights of the fall season for many is attending a football game at Brown Stadium. One of the longest running college squads in the nation, the Bears have fielded a team for over 140 years, since 1878. A founding member of the Ivy League, which is a sports confederation after all, Brown played in the first ever Rose Bowl game in Los Angeles in 1916. On New Year’s Day that year, after a week-long train trek to the West Coast, Brown played Washington State, who won 14-0. The Bears were led by legendary running back Frederick Douglass “Fritz” Pollard, who later became the first African American professional football coach.

Since then, the team has won four Ivy League titles and sent several players to the NFL, including fullback James Develin, who played eight seasons for the New England Patriots and made the Pro Bowl in 2017. The Bears have a full slate of home and away games this season, including the annual Governor’s Cup against the University of Rhode Island on October 7. Fourth-year coach and former Brown quarterback James Perry is looking forward to continued progress after a 3-7 season in 2022.

There are upgrades to the fan experience this season, including pregame concerts, enhanced concessions, Narragansett Beer, and Bruno’s Backyard, a new area inside the stadium for fans of all ages that includes lawn games, inflatables, photos with Bruno the mascot, and more. Tickets for all games remain affordable, beginning at $10. Families with children in sixth grade and under can join Bruno’s Cub Club and receive 50 percent off regular season home games, free merch, special in-game opportunities, and more.


2023 Home Game Schedule:
Brown Bears*

Brown Stadium, 400 Elmgrove Avenue


September 30: 12pm vs. Central Connecticut State


October 7: 12pm vs. Rhode Island


October 14: 1pm vs. Princeton


November 4: 12pm vs. Yale


November 18: 12pm vs. Dartmouth


*Dates may change, always confirm with the organization for updates.



PC Friars Begin a New Era

Expectations are high for the 2023-24 season at Providence College as new coaches take over the men’s and women’s programs. On the men’s side, coach Kim English joined the team last spring, taking over for hometown hero Ed Cooley. The Baltimore native and former star player at Missouri coached George Mason University the past two seasons, leading the team to a 20-13 record in 2022-23. English also spent a season in the NBA as a point guard for the Detroit Pistons in 2012-13.

“I want to be clear to everyone in Friartown – we are going to do great things at Providence College for a long time,” said English in March after joining the team. “I know that this is a special place with amazing fans, a great tradition, and support throughout the community. We look forward to establishing new relationships with the players, the alums, and the fans.”

The men’s season officially kicks off with Late Night Madness on September 30, an event that signals the beginning of official practices with games getting underway in November. After a pair of early-season games at the Amica Mutual Pavilion, the men’s team will head to the Baha Mar Hoops Bahamas Championship tournament November 17-19.

New women’s basketball coach Erin Batth has 17 years of experience at the Division I level. Last year, Batth was assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Michigan where she helped lead the team to an 23-10 record and an 11th consecutive NCAA appearance. A former college standout, Batth was the first player from Clemson to be drafted into the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), where she played for the Cleveland Rockers, San Antonio Silver Stars, and Sacramento Monarchs.

“I am humbled and excited to lead Providence College women’s basketball,” said Batth when she was hired in March. “I’m thrilled to be a Friar and confident that we will build a program that the community is proud of and excited to support. The sky is the limit on what can be accomplished at Providence.”


2023 Home Game Schedule:
Men’s Friars Basketball*

Amica Mutual Pavillion


November 6: vs. Columbia


November 11: vs. Milwaukee


November 14: vs. Wisconsin


November 24: vs. Lehigh


November 28: vs. Wagner


December 2: vs. Rhode Island


December 10: vs. Brown


December 16: vs. Sacred Heart


2023 Home Game Schedule:
Women’s Friars Basketball*

Alumni Hall, PC Campus


November 1: vs. New Haven


November 7: vs. Hampton


November 10: vs. Vermont


November 19: vs. Boston College


November 22: vs. Monmouth


December 2: vs. Iona


December 6: vs. Rhode Island


December 16: vs. Sacred Heart


*Dates may change, always confirm with the organization for updates.



RIC Women’s Basketball Aims High

One of the most successful programs in local college sports history is happening at Rhode Island College (RIC). Behind the leadership of coach Jenna Cosgrove, the women’s basketball team reached the NCAA Division III Final Four last season, a major accomplishment for any team. The Anchorwomen aim to win it all this year.

“We’re coming off our best year yet, and with that comes pressure and high expectations,” says Cosgrove. “With what we did last year, being unranked and getting to the Final Four, finally getting national recognition, we have a different level of confidence in our returning players. The expectation is always to win the conference championship, but after what we did last year, we have kids coming back who will have eyes on a national championship.”

As a Division III school that is not permitted to offer athletic scholarships, coaches face unique challenges recruiting talented players. Unlike Division I teams like PC and University of Rhode Island who can recruit internationally, coaches from schools like RIC seek out local and regional stars. The upside – players who might not get as much playing time at a Division I school can thrive in a Division III conference like the Little East, where RIC is a member.

Success on the court improves recruitment and retention of top local athletes. The RIC team includes a pair of standouts who graduated from Rhode Island high schools. “It definitely helps,” says Cosgrove. “Izzy Booth from Newport is our returning leading scorer, and Madison Medbury from Scituate is our leading point guard and the glue of the team. My goal is to attract the best Rhode Island kids that aren’t getting scholarships, and the best players regionally.”

Cosgrove believes fan support was crucial last season. “I think it was a big part of why we were successful in the NCAA tournament,” adds the seasoned coach, preparing for her sixth season. “We were lucky to have the sectionals at Babson for the Sweet 16 and the Elite 8. That meant many fans could make the short drive to Wellesley to support the team. We had more fans there than any other school… there were so many people behind us. We’re playing top nationally ranked teams now; I’m hoping we can really fill the gym.”


Soccer Leads the Way At JWU

At Johnson & Wales University (JWU), the men’s and women’s soccer teams are coming off highly successful seasons in 2022. Under coach David Kulik, the men’s team ranked among the top 10 in the region last season, compiling a 15-2-3 record before falling in the playoffs. On the women’s side, the conference leading Wildcats went 19-3-1 under coach Chris Flint, winning the Great Northeast Athletic Conference championship for the third consecutive year. Both teams aim to make the NCAA Tournament in 2023. 


2023 Home Game Schedule:
JWU Men’s Wildcats*

Scotts Miracle-Gro Athletic Complex at JWU’s Harborside Campus


October 7: vs. Colby-Sawyer


October 17: vs. Albertus Magnus


October 24: vs. Elm


October 26: Great Northeast Athletic Conference tournament



2023 Home Game Schedule:
JWU Women’s Wildcats*

Scotts Miracle-Gro Athletic Complex at JWU’s Harborside Campus


October 7: vs. Emmanuel (MA)


October 11: vs. Dean


October 14: vs. New England


October 24: vs. Albertus Magnus


October 26: Great Northeast Athletic Conference tournament


*Dates may change, always confirm with the organization for updates.




For sports fans, nothing beats the thrill of watching college teams compete. Here are four good reasons to buy tickets to games this season.


Brown University

Team: Brown Bears

Best Bet: Football

Why: Even non-fans can’t help but enjoy themselves watching Ivy League teams toss the pigskin on a sunny fall afternoon.

Brown Stadium, 400 Elmgrove Avenue


Providence College

Team: Providence Friars

Best Bet: Men’s Soccer

Why: Behind coach Craig Stewart, the talented team has high hopes of making the NCAA tournament this year.

Anderson Stadium, 1 Cunningham Square


Rhode Island College

Team: RIC Anchorwomen

Best Bet: Women’s Soccer

Why: With a can-do attitude, the Anchorwomen look to rebound after a frustrating 2022 season.

Alumni Field, 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue


Johnson & Wales University

Team: JWU Wildcats

Best Bet: Men’s and Women’s Soccer

Why: Both men’s and women’s soccer programs are coming off their best seasons in years

Scotts Miracle-Gro Athletic Complex, 100 Harborside Boulevard



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