By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Providence Bruins will play the 2021 AHL season away from the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, and will instead play at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Mass., the team announced Monday.
According to the tThe P-Bruins’ move away from The Dunk comes with arena deemed unavailable, with the State of Rhode Island opting to use the facility for “various COVID-19 related initiatives.”
Located under 40 miles from TD Garden, the five-acre NESC features eight, full-size ice surfaces, two studio rinks, and 50 spacious team rooms, giving the P-Bruins and their opponents ample room to set up shop when necessary.
“On behalf of The Dunkin’ Donuts Center, we thank the Bruins for the outstanding long-term partnership and appreciate the flexibility they have shown this season while the Dunk is used for COVID-19 initiatives,” Lawrence Lepore, the general manager of the arena, said in a statement. “We look forward to next season when the team returns to take the ice at the Dunk for many successful seasons thereafter.”
As you would expected, the move from Providence to Marlborough will come without fans in attendance at the NESC.
“The relationship between the Boston and Providence Bruins is critical to our player development and future success,” Bruins team president Cam Neely said in a statement. “Given the unprecedented circumstances, we are very grateful that the New England Sports Center can host the team this season, and we look forward to the Bruins’ return to Providence, not only for the 21-22 season, but for many more to come.”
Word of the temporary relocation to Marlborough comes with three teams (the Charlotte Checkers, Milwaukee Admirals, and Springfield Thunderbirds) opting out of the 2021 AHL season, which is currently hoping for a Feb. 5 start.