Saturday, June 2, 2012


With another awesome set of photos of BC past put out by the school as part of the sesquicentennial, which includes some great shots of the football squad at Fenway, we come back to one of our favorite questions: what are the chances BC could get back to the gridiron down at one of their historical homes and host a game in partnership with the Red Sox?

The way we have to look at it is in terms of three things:

1) Is there enough reason for Fenway and the Red Sox to do it?
2) Would it be logistically possible to get a football field in Fenway these days?
3) When and who would BC play?

Would Fenway and the Red Sox do it? If you take the 2012 calendar year and look at the amount of non-baseball events happening in Fenway, I'd have to go with an answer of the fact that they would at least be open to the discussion. We've had hockey, plenty of baseball and several concerts this summer, not to mention Liverpool hosting Roma in late July. Considering that many of these later events are even mid-season, you have to imagine that there is at least a crew available and ready. 

Let's talk logistics. You may recall that a few seasons ago, Northwestern and Illinois played each other at Wrigley Field - just as Fenway had once hosted the Eagles and Patriots, Wrigley once hosted many football games from colleges and the pros. The problem, though, is that the stadiums have been updated, albeit incrementally, and there are significantly more conditions and technology that surround the games that require more space. Even though it seemed like it would fit, a last minute decision was made to use only one end zone (the out of bounds area behind one of them would have abutted one of the brick walls). 

What would happen in Fenway? Well, look at this seating chart, which indicates where a football field had been laid down back in the day:

The closest the field gets to the walls are the warning track by the Triangle and then down by the away team dugout. You're looking at about 15+ feet buffer in the high sides, but where the sticking point was in Wrigley (the right field corner), Fenway has the advantage of the cavernous area by Pesky's Pole. This could actually still work, even with the bullpens still in play.

The final question: who and when? Scheduling is about to get tricky. BC's non-conference is pretty locked with USC, UMass and ND, with a few service academies thrown in here or there, the rest of the decade is actually pretty mapped out, and that all could change, too. The new 14-team ACC is bringing with it a nine game conference schedule, as well as some other factors (BC playing on Fridays at least once a season). I see two likelihoods:

  1. If it's non-conference, it'd be a service academy. Given that we already are playing Army on a baseball field come 2014 anyway (down in Yankee Stadium), you know there would be some interest. Since we have to play UMass at Gillette, I doubt BC would throw away a home game with the Minutemen to have something at Fenway (although that's not completely out of the question).
  2. Illinois and Northwestern went with the conference matchup, and I could see a BC-Syracuse matchup in Fenway as something that would fit the newly renewed rivalry as a welcome to the ACC. With seven games at home schedule for 2013, what better way to welcome the Orange than a high profile Fenway game?
We know that it couldn't be October (it's not optimism, it's operations: you just can't block off dates if playoffs are an option, the Sox aren't the Mets), but it certainly could be a September game (if the Sox have two consecutive road series, you could install the field come Monday, play Friday, and have it back in baseball shape for the next series on Tuesday. Most likely though, you'd be looking November, which is when the Wildcats and Illini played their match in 2010.

Likely? No. But it would be so, so awesome.

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