Fans return to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — After more than a year and a half, fans returned to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Saturday night.

12 News caught up with excited fans before the Providence Bruins exhibition matchup with the Springfield Thunderbirds.

“I can smell the ice, just seeing it glisten the way it does,” Domenic Simone said.

“The last event was March second 2020 and we’ve been working really hard to get back to this day,” Dunkin’ Donuts Center General Manager Lawrence Lepore said. “We did over 150,000 vaccines in this building, tested about 250,000 Rhode Islanders. And all of that was in anticipation for this day.”

And on Saturday, fans who were still looking to get their vaccine could grab a shot, along with free tickets or a grab bag with apparel and gear.

“We had about twenty people already take advantage of free tickets for tonight’s game if they come in and get vaccinated. There were some requirements made, if you already had a ticket, you got some merchandise,” Lepore said.

The Dunk will be offering vaccines for all of their events in October, including when the WWE comes to town.

“We’ll keep it going as long as the health department feels there’s a need to get the word out there and get as many Rhode Islanders vaccinated so we can truly get back to a normal way of entertainment and life,” Lepore said.

Saturday night was a trial run at the Dunk with just three thousand tickets sold. But Lepore said they are expecting a packed house for opening night.

“This place is electric. Great to be back after a crazy year,” Simone said.

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