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2024 Power 100: Larue Renfroe

A man with white hair, a black suit jacket, white button down, and blue tie. Photo | Courtesy of Larue Renfroe Larue Renfroe
Larue Renfroe Title President & owner Company New England Sports Center, in Marlborough Employees 67 Residence Concord College Tulane University Read all the Power 100 profiles here
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Ask any North American-born hockey player at almost any level of competition if they have ever heard of Marlborough, Massachusetts, and there’s a high probability they’ll answer in the affirmative.

That’s all thanks to the New England Sports Center and its founder, Larue Renfroe.

Frustrated with the lack of available ice for his children’s team, Renfroe decided to take action.

The typical hockey venue only has one rink, but New England Sports Center started with four.

Then, Renfroe just kept adding rinks; today, the venue has eight full-size rinks and two smaller practice rinks, making it one of the largest ice sports venues on the planet. NESC attracted 1 million attendees in 2023, according to data it provided to the WBJ Research Department, making it the most visited tourist attraction in Central Massachusetts and a major economic driver for the city with a population of just under 41,000.

The facility is home to 18 high school hockey teams, a litany of youth programs, charity competitions, and academy programs. NESC has been the home to a number of other ice-related activities, including figure skating, curling, and sled hockey, a version of the game playable for people with limited lower body movement.

The 22,000-square-foot complex hosts more than 50 tournaments a year, with one notable recent example being the 2023 American Collegiate Hockey Association Championship, a competition featuring 76 men’s and women’s college teams.

In addition to owning NESC, Renfroe happens to own the Providence Bruins, the minor league affiliate of Boston’s NHL franchise, making him a facilitator of hockey from the peewees to the pros. 

Read all the Power 100 profiles here.

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