[L to R: Bravehearts President John W.S. Creedon Jr., Doyle Field Co-Commissioner Mark Bodanza, Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella, Doyle Field Commission Chairman Gil Donatelli, Doyle Field Coordinator Pat LaPointe, Bravehearts General Manager Dave Peterson, Liberty Rental Property Manager Matt Weagle, local developer Peter M. Bovenzi, Bravehearts Owner John W.S. Creedon, Bravehearts Director of Sales Nate Gonelli]
Worcester, MA: The Worcester Bravehearts baseball team and the City of Leominster have reached an agreement for the team to host all 19 of its FCBL home games at historic Doyle Field during the 2020 season. The move is a temporary one for the Bravehearts, who were forced to find a new home after Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field on the campus of the College of the Holy Cross was closed for the summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Doyle Field — located just south of Route 2 at 100 Priest St. — is a 21-acre parcel of land that was gifted to the City of Leominster in 1931 by former Mayor Bernard W. Doyle. The field went through a series of upgrades in 2014 with new fencing, additional seating, and a new scoreboard in left field.
“The Bravehearts are eager to bring Futures League baseball back to Leominster,” said team owner John Creedon, Jr. “We look forward to combining the Bravehearts’ brand of hospitality including things like hot dogs and cold beer with outstanding baseball to bring smiles — under masks, of course — to the families of the Leominster area this summer.”
The first home game is slated for Saturday, July 11 at 6:00 PM against the newest franchise in the Futures League — the New Britain Bees. Eleven of the nineteen home games on the 2020 schedule will occur on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays. All tickets will be free for the entire season.
“We are excited to welcome the Worcester Bravehearts to the city of Leominster,” said Mayor Dean J. Mazzarella. “They drafted an impressive COVID Readiness Plan for the summer that will ensure the safety of all participants on the field and all fans in the stands. Play Ball!”
The ballpark is set up with four sets of aluminum bleachers that can hold up to 424 fans, but with social distancing parameters in place, the Bravehearts expect to only fill a quarter of those seats. The majority of the fixed seats will be reserved for season ticket holders with a limited quantity open to the general public. The team will keep viewing areas open through the outfield fence in both left- and right-field for general admission.
“There is going to be a charming Cape Cod League feel to the ballpark this summer at Doyle Field,” said General Manager Dave Peterson. “We’ll be cautious with our social distancing by spreading fans out along the perimeter of the field, and fans can also bring their own camping chairs or blankets to enjoy the game with their family."
The revamped seating plan means that the Bravehearts will offer all tickets to their home games for free. Season ticket and mini plan customers who have already paid for their packages will receive free tickets in 2021 when the team returns to Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field. Free parking will be available for fans in 2020 across from the baseball field on Priest Street next to the Doyle Field Tennis Court.
The Bravehearts will be the third summer collegiate team to call Doyle Field its home. The Wachusett Dirt Dawgs previously played in the Futures League from 2012 - 2017, and the Central Mass Collegians also moved from Worcester to Leominster and played two seasons as members of the New England Collegiate Baseball League in 1998 and 1999.
Local businessman Peter E. Bovenzi, whose son Peter Jr. played for the Bravehearts in 2016 and 2017, has been an integral part of the relocation efforts of the franchise this summer.
Fans with questions about the seating layout should call the Bravehearts office at 508-438-3773.