Bench Press: Where the Action’s At

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Welcome to Bench Press! My name is Lainie Rowland and I’m the starting quarterback on the football team, like to run marathons during my free time, and am currently in the process of qualifying for the Rio Olympics as a competitive ping pong player. I’m kidding, of course, but I do love sports and Brown, so I’m really excited to write about a combination of the two this year.

As I’ve written in previous posts, Brown’s athletic facilities are state-of-the-art, accessible, and plentiful. I’ve told you about where to go to workout and all the different sporting options you can find here. We’ve reviewed alternative exercise options (swing dance, anyone?) and reflected on the very unique sports culture that exists at Brown. I’ve covered our athletic highlights and explained what school spirit feels like on College Hill. One specific that I haven’t communicated yet though, is what our home fields, stadiums, rinks, courts, tracks, pools…. etc. look like and what that should mean to you. Brown has 37 varsity sports teams, so the number of home stands we have to accommodate is accordingly quite large. Any sport you play your “home turf” takes on special meaning. It can fire you up, house your “sixth man,” protect you from elements, support your dedication, and make you come back to it again and again.

Our first home field is a big one: Brown Stadium. It houses a classic grass field, expansive home bleachers, and, during the season, a parking lot full of alumni and students tailgating before games. The stadium itself holds 20,000 fans. Fun fact: according to Wikipedia, the football stadium “served as the site of an Abercrombie and Fitch photo shoot in 2004.” Basically that means if you visit the stadium, you automatically become a supermodel.

Next is Meehan Auditorium, home to the Pollard Family Rink, where the men and women’s ice hockey teams skate to victory. It underwent huge construction in 2002, with the addition of new locker rooms,, an improvement and enlargement on the lobby, the redesign of the home locker rooms, creation of of a training facility, and renovation of the rink itself. It holds 3,100 fans and has filled to capacity many times this year.

The Paul Bailey Pizzitola Memorial Sports Center, or “The Pitz” for short houses Brown’s basketball, volleyball, wrestling, and gymnastics programs. Not to mention, the squash and tennis courts on the upper levels. Bleacher and balcony seating can accommodate 2,800 people. One cool thing about the Pitz is the Heisman Lobby. Why so named? Because John Heisman, for whom the Heisman trophy is named, was class of 1891.

Stevenson field, home to our soccer and lacrosse programs, is known to to “be among the best soccer/lacrosse stadiums in the East,” according to the Brown athletics website. It’s capacity is 3,500 and was recently resurfaced with a LigaSport artificial surface. That sounds really fancy that lacrosse and soccer players can probably really appreciate. The field also has lights installed for night games, as well as a new irrigation system apparently. Soccer and lacrosse are historically very competitive programs, so it only fits that they play at a prime location.

Other home “fields” at Brown include our boathouse for our crew and sailing teams, Windswept Farms where equestrian rides, the OMAC facilities where fencing competes, and many more. For a full list, check out: http://www.brownbears.com/athletics/facilities/index

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Need a pen pal? Shoot me an email at lainie_rowland@brown.edu. And I’m not just saying that, I would genuinely love to hear from you!

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