Get In The Game: Harvard-Yale To Be Contested At Fenway Park Next Season
Next year's Harvard-Yale football game "will be played" at Fenway Park for the first time, according to Andrew Mahoney of the BOSTON GLOBE. Red Sox President & CEO Sam Kennedy said, "It’s an honor to host one of the most prestigious rivalries in American collegiate athletics." Harvard will "serve as the home team." One concern for next year will be in "regard to tailgating." The contest typically "sells out at Harvard Stadium," with the attendance for the '16 matchup listed at 31,662. A festive pregame atmosphere "surrounds the stadium, with alumni and fans assembling to enjoy food and drinks." While the capacity will be slightly higher at Fenway Park -- attendance for the Notre Dame-Boston College game in '15 was listed at 38,686 -- pregame gatherings "would appear to be limited to Fenway area bars." Harvard Associate AD/Communications Tim Williamson said, "Those details have not been completely ironed out yet. There will be some more information to come out." Mahoney notes the '18 game will "mark the third time in four years that college football is played at Fenway Park." Harvard coach Tim Murphy: "Fenway is a super fan experience, and I know our student-athletes will be very excited about playing our biggest rival at a sold-out Fenway Park" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/30).
HISTORICAL MOMENT: In Boston, Steve Buckley notes this news "takes on greater meaning" when one considers that the '18 Ivy League season will mark the 50th anniversary of the famous game in which Harvard "beat" Yale 29-29. Buckley: "There’s something really, really cool about all these events, and they inspire me to cast aside my grumpiness about site lines and seats." When Boston Univ. played Boston College in a college hockey showdown in '10 at Fenway, it was a "dream come true for Terriers coach Jack Parker and Eagles coach Jerry York, two local boys who grew up rooting for the Red Sox" (BOSTON HERALD, 11/30). In Connecticut, Chip Malafronte notes "prominent outside venues have contacted Yale and Harvard in the past few years about moving their annual rivalry." Yankee Stadium and Gillette Stadium were "interested not long ago." But for the past 123 years, the schools have "agreed to keep with tradition and play 'The Game' on their respective campus venues." Whatever the reasons for the venue switch, it is a "landmark decision" (NEW HAVEN REGISTER, 11/30).