The Bryant Bulldogs are the athletic teams representing Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island. The Bulldogs compete at the Division I level as a member of the Northeast Conference. Bryant's largest rivalry during its Division II years was Bentley College, both founders of the Northeast-10 and both have prominent business programs. Bryant University athletics started out as a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) before it transitioned into Division II. Bryant competed in the Northeast-10 Conference from the conference's founding in 1980 until 2008 when the university began the transition to Division I. In 2012, Bryant became a full Division I member.
Beirne Stadium is a stadium in Smithfield, Rhode Island. It is the home stadium for the Bryant University American football and men's and women's lacrosse programs. The stadium holds 4,400 people and was built in 1999. It has also hosted numerous events for Rhode Island High School State Championships.
The centerpiece of Bryant University's athletic facilities, Beirne Stadium opened in 1999 as Bulldog Stadium to coincide with the varsity debut of Bryant football. In 2016, it was renamed as part of the David M. '85 and Terry Beirne Stadium Complex.
The facility received upgrades for the 2018 season that include a new FieldTurf playing surface and permanent lighting banks, making Beirne Stadium the first of the three Football Championship Subdivision stadiums in Rhode Island with permanent lights. The Bryant men's and women's lacrosse programs moved full-time from the Bryant Track & Turf Complex to Beirne Stadium for the 2019 season.
With a seating capacity of 4,400, Beirne Stadium utilizes a design that is usually reserved for larger stadiums, ensuring excellent sight lines and maximum comfort for spectators. A 3,200-seat permanent bleacher comprises the backdrop for the home side of the field, while 1,200 additional seats are available on the visitor's side. Three hundred seats in the stadium are equipped with backs and arm rests. The stadium also has its own athletic training center, office space and public rest rooms.
In 2007, the Bulldogs hosted their first ever appearance in the NCAA Division II National Football Championship versus West Chester. In the 2008-2009 school year Bryant University Athletics became a Division I sports program. They belong to the Northeast Conference (NEC) for most sports, as well as the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) for Swimming and Diving.