NORTH SMITHFIELD – An adult semi-pro team will be playing their weekly home games at the North Smithfield High School football field in 2023, thanks to an arrangement with the management company hired by the school district earlier this year.
The Southern New England Admirals will take to the field, a synthetic surface freshly replaced by the district in 2021, starting this June.
The team, a non-profit that previously held home games in Bridgewater, Mass., plays on Saturday nights from July through October. The 2022 champions of their division in the East Coast Football League, the Admirals play in the AAA class Colonial Conference and are ranked #2 nationally.
The team received the ECFL’s Organization of the Year and Community Service Award for 2022.
“We are very much looking forward to calling North Smithfield home and building in the community,” said Admirals General Manager Nancy Sherman. “We are very active in the community that we have as a ‘home field,’ as well as support local businesses and local school sports teams.”
Sherman noted that the team also provides an athlete scholarship to a deserving local high school student, a program she said the organization hopes to expand as they grow.
An arrangement for the Admirals to use the facility was negotiated by ATM Development, LLC, better known as Wide World of Indoor Sports, a town business that was hired to manage the school’s athletic facilities and accompanying concession stands.
According to a one-year agreement signed in February, ATM pays the district $35,000 annually for use of the field, plus $750 a month in September, October, November, April, May and June for use of the concession stand. After the first 350 hours of usage for non-district-sponsored events, ATM also pays the district $70 per hour plus another $20 hourly if lighting is required, according to the contract. The agreement also requires a discounted rate for town-based non-profits.
As part of the deal, the business also provides live video streaming, along with other services such as cleaning and trash collection, and the district can use WWIS’s indoor facilities at 621 Pound Hill Road free of charge. The sports center, owned by Dan Fawcett, holds fields suited for soccer, lacrosse, flag football, baseball, softball, girls field hockey, volleyball, Wiffle Ball and more.
The agreement includes an option to extend the partnership between ATM and the North Smithfield School District for an additional two years.
North Smithfield school Supt. Michael St. Jean noted that there are no overlaps or conflicts between the Admiral’s game schedule, and school or town leagues. ATM and the Admirals are also reportedly working to partner on programs such as fun halftime games.
The team will play its first home game at the field at 1900 Providence Pike on Saturday, June 24, when they take on the Raiders in a matchup starting at 7 p.m.
Sherman noted that the coaching staff is made up of high school and college coaches, and that they are always always recruiting new players. To learn more, contact team owner Peter Kane at firstname.lastname@example.org.