The rumors have been swirling for months. Dunkin Donuts naming rights deal with the RI Convention Center Authority expired on June 30th. RICCA has been hearing proposals from various corporations since May and it now appears that Amica is the winning bid. The days of the Friars playing at the Dunk is over.
I’ve sat on this article for a few weeks now because I didn’t want to believe it to be true. If Amica taking out a trademark for the Amica Mutual Pavilion wasn’t enough proof today’s scenes at 1 LaSalle Sq says it all, no more Dunk.
Formerly known as the Providence Civic Center, the building brokered a deal with Dunkin’ Donuts for the naming rights back in 2001. Quickly the Dunkin’ Donuts Center earned the moniker “The Dunk”, which gave Friar fans one of the more unique venue names in all of college sports.
For the Crier it has always been the Dunk and there have been so many great memories made there. Beating #1 Pittsburgh in 09, Jeff Xavier’s brother storming the court, Red Panda’s dazzling halftime performances, the roof leak game and most recently Providence’s first Big East regular season title are just to name a few. Hell I graduated from Providence College at the Dunk! While it may just be a name change there are going to plenty of Friars fans like myself that will view this as a tough pill to swallow.
Unfortunately the sports landscape around this country is changing whether it be conference realignment, lengthening seasons, venue name changes or changing gameplay rules and it all comes down to the money. It’s hard to blame the RI Convention Center Authority to look for more money from a different sponsor. While I view the Dunk as a perfect venue it could use some cash to fix some of it’s imperfections, like the aforementioned roof. I just think it’s just too bad that after this past season where The Dunk was getting national recognition for the madhouse it was during PC games we’d change the name.
I do wonder if this makes PC look into potentially making an on campus arena down the line but that’s a topic for another day. Today let’s pour one out for the Dunk and reminisce all of the great Friar memories that took place there.