Last Updated: 2004/08/31

Framingham, MA
by David Litterer

Framingham is a diverse community located 20 miles west of Boston. At nearly 67,000 inhabitants it is the largest “town” in Massachusetts. One of the largest suburbs of Boston, it is bisected by Interstate 90 and Routes 9 and 20, and is within easy driving distance to many tourist destinations in the Boston area. Framingham State College is nearby, as are a number of large corporate headquarters, including Bose Corporation, Staples, Natural Microsystems, Perini and TJX. Framingham also boasts several large shopping centers convenient to Bowditch Stadium, home to the Boston Bulldogs (D3Pro) and Boston Renegades (W-League). The city is also within easy traveling distance of Worcester (Kings - PDL), Providence/Pawtucket (Rhode Island Stingrays - D3Pro), Boston (Breakers - WUSA), and Foxboro (Revolution - MLS)

Boston Bulldogs (D3Pro)
Boston Renegades (W-League)
12 Irving Street
Framingham, MA 01702
(508) 872-8998

The Bulldogs began in 1996 as the Worcester Wildfire in the Professional Division of the USISL, which became the Division 2 A-League in 1997. The Bulldogs were relegated to the D3Pro league in 2000, and sat out the 2002 season, with hopes to return for 2003. Prior to this, the Boston Storm played in the USISL in 1994 and 1995. Boston Bulldogs have struggled to draw a crowd, despite excellent front office leadership and good teams. Perhaps this is due to the proximity of so many other pro and semi-pro soccer teams in the vicinity.
The Boston Renegades had a tentative first season in 1996, but quickly improved after being bought by Mass Premier Soccer in 1996. Since then they have consistently been one of the top performing and top drawing teams in the W-League. They have played in two league championship games, winning it all in 2001, and won in the 3rd place game in 2000.Eight players have advanced through the ranks to WUSA, and Kathy Connors earned a spot on the national team. Even though they have lost some of the limelight to the Boston Breakers in WUSA, they are still a force to be reckoned with in regional soccer.

Bowditch Field
475 Union Avenue
Framingham, MA 01702

Capacity: 5,600.
Field: 110 x 66

Colors (Bulldogs): Red, White, Black; (Renegades): Red, White

Honors (Bulldogs): None
Honors (Renegades): W-1 Division champions 2001; W-1 Division 3rd place, 2000; W-1 Division 2nd place, 1999

Directions:

From Interstate 90, take Exit 12 and bear right onto Route 9 East (Worcester Road) for about 2 miles. Take exit for Edgell Rd/Main St (Framingham State College). At the top of the ramp, take a right at the light. Passing the Yellow/Purple shop on your right, continue until you see an island in the middle of the road with a statue. Proceed straight through, keeping statue on your left, onto Union Ave. Pass two car dealerships and a sub shop, and the stadium entrance will be on your left about 1/2 mile down Union Ave.

From the Airport: Head towards airport exit. Bear left towards Route 1A South/Sumner Tunnel (I-93)/Boston. After 0.1 miles, Bear left onto East Boston Expressway. After 0.4 miles, continue straight on East Boston Expressway/Sumner Tunnel. After 1.1 miles, bear right onto Cross Street. After 0.1 miles, make a shark left turn to take I-93 South ramp towards Mass Turnpike. After 0.2 miles, merge right onto I-93 south. After 1.1 miles, bear right onto Albany Street exit towards Points West (Exit 20). After 0.2 miles, merge onto Interstate 90 west. After 17.2 miles, take Exit #13 (Route 30). After passing through tolls, stay in the right hand lane, and take a right onto Rt 30, heading towards Framingham. You will pass Framingham mall on your right, and then Cha-Chi's Mexican restaurant on your left. At crossroads continue straight across, and follow Rt 30 down to intersection with Rt. 9. Take Rt 9 west for about a mile, and then take exit for Framingham/ Southboro (Framingham State College- Rt 30 again!). At the top of the ramp, take a left and cross over Rt9. Passing the Yellow/ Purple shop on your right, continue straight until you come to an island with a statue in the middle of the road. Proceed straight across, keeping statue on the left, onto Union Ave. Pass two car dealerships and a sub shop, and the stadium entrance will be on your left, about 1/2 mile down Union Ave.

Tickets: Game tickets: $8.00 adults, $5.00 children. Season Tickets: TBA

Refreshers: Just the basics: Burgers, hot dogs, sodas, pretzels, popcorn, candy. All reasonably priced.

Club Merchandise: Official jerseys, wind tops, replica t-shirts, logo shirts, mini-mascots, logo pins, window clings. Game programs, yearbooks. Available at the stadium on match day, and on-line.

Fan Culture:

Bulldogs: No organized culture. Crowds tend to be small and Bulldogs games, but will become enthusiastic with a good score. Parking is available next to stadium for a nominal fee. The Bulldogs are actively involved with the community, including running youth soccer camps throughout the summer and visiting local schools as part of the “crusade for health” program to talk to children about healthy eating habits.

Renegades: One of the best drawing teams in the USL (although crowds have diminished since the Boston Breakers began play in 2001). Enthusiastic, family oriented crowds with many children cheering loudly.

The fans can go to the field sidelines to talk with players and get autographs.

Media Coverage:

In Print: Occasional articles in the Boston Globe (www.boston.com)

On the Air: No local TV or radio package

On the Web: http://www.bostonbulldogs.com, http://www.bostonrenegades.com

Around Town

Bars & Pubs
Bennigan’s Grill & Tavern
155 Worcester Road, Framingham
(508) 879-3937

Han Dynasty Restaurant
509 Concord Street, Framingham
(508) 875-7525

Restaurants
There are a large number of restaurants along Worcester Road approx. ¾ miles north of the Stadium. Here are a few:

Bertucci’s Brick Oven Pizzeria
150 Worcester Road (Rte. 9), Framingham
(508) 879-9161

Ken’s Steak House
95 Worcester Road, Framingham
(508) 875-4455

Ruby Tuesday’s
659 Worcester Road, Framingham
(508) 820-1680

Hotels & Accommodations
Econo Lodge
1186 Worcester Road, #102, Framingham
(508) 879-1510

Best Western Inn
130 Worcester Road, Framingham
(508) 872-8811

Team Hotel:
Westin Hotel
70 Third Avenue
Waltham, MA 02451
781/290-5800; FAX: 781/890-5959

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