Why Do They Play a Bowl Game at Fenway Park?

    Fenway Park was a historic connection to football and will host the Fenway Bowl in 2023. Find out why a college football bowl game is played there.

    Fenway Park is the venue for the Fenway Bowl, which will be played by SMU and Boston College in 2023. Primarily used as a baseball stadium, Fenway Park is usually the home of the MLB’s Boston Red Sox. However, the stadium has hosted various football games for over a century.

    Sponsored by Wasabi Technologies, the Fenway Bowl is a relatively new college football Bowl game on the calendar and has brought football back to the historic stadium.

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    What Is the Fenway Bowl?

    The stadium hadn’t hosted a bowl game until 2022, despite its links to football.

    Fenway Park only hosted its first bowl game recently thanks to the creation of the Fenway Bowl, which was announced in 2019.

    It has taken several years to get the bowl game up and running, as cancellations set the inaugural game back. The first Fenway Bowl was scheduled to be played in 2020, but it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Then, in 2021, the game was set to go ahead between SMU and Virginia, but it was canceled days before kickoff due to the coronavirus being present in some of Virginia’s players.

    Finally, in 2022, the first-ever Wasabi Fenway Bowl was held, and Louisville defeated Cincinnati 24-17 in front of 15,000 fans.

    In 2023, the game will feature a ranked SMU Mustangs team heading to Fenway Park to take on the Boston College Eagles, who return to their old stomping ground.

    MORE: History of the Boston College Eagles

    The Fenway Sports Management President Mark Lev stated, “This exciting new bowl game marks the culmination of our efforts to bring gridiron glory back to Fenway Park.”

    “We’re excited to collaborate with the talented team at ESPN Events to produce a marquee event of this magnitude that will solidify the ballpark’s reputation as a dynamic, year-round multi-purpose venue that’s a go-to destination for a wide array of major sporting events.”

    The History of Football at Fenway Park

    Fenway Park has hosted high school and college football games since 1912. It was previously the home to Boston College and the pre-NFL/AFL Merger Boston Patriots.

    As the former grew in popularity in the early 1900s, they moved from the old Alumni Stadium to play games between Fenway Park and Braves Field. In 1957, Fenway Park could no longer be used to host football games, so the Eagles constructed a new stadium on Chestnut Hill. They now play their home games on campus at Alumni Stadium again.

    Football returned to Fenway Park in 2015 when the “B.C.” Eagles competed in the Shamrock Series against Notre Dame. It has since hosted the Fenway Gridiron Series, competed between high schools in Boston, and has hosted “The Game” between Harvard and Yale.

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