If you come to Boston, Fenway Park – America’s Most Beloved Ballpark - has to be on your list of places to see. It’s the oldest stadium in Major League Baseball and it’s an important piece of the city’s rich history.
Fenway opened on April 20, 1912, the same week that the Titanic went down, and much of it remains the same – even the cramped seats.
But if you want to go to a game, be prepared to spend a lot of money. Fenway is the most expensive ballpark to see a game in the nation.
If you can’t get tickets to a Red Sox game, there are tours available and it’s worth the $16. On game days, the park opens two hours before the first pitch is scheduled.
COMING AND GOING
Getting there is not easy. Your best bet is to take the train, so you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for parking.
Either way, leave early so you can have plenty of time before the game to sample the food stands on Yawkey Way and walk through the park before settling (or cramming) into your seats.
Take the Green Line to Kenmore.
If you’re on the D line, you have the Fenway stop as an option as well.
Check: MBTA Subway Map
By Commuter Rail:
This is a great alternative to bringing your car into the city. However, you’re at the mercy of the train schedules. There are three options, depending on which direction you’re coming from.
1. If you’re on the Framingham-Worcester line, take the train to Yawkey Station on Brookline Avenue, which is a short walk to the park.
2. If you’re coming from the south, take a train to South Station then switch to the subway there. Take the Red Line to Park Street and then hop on the Green Line to Kenmore.
3. For those of you coming from the north, take the train to North Station then get on the Green Line to Kenmore.
Check: Commuter Rail Map
There are seven bus routes available. The 8, 19, 47, 55, 57, 60, and 65.
Check: MBTA Bus Routes To Fenway Park
If you have to drive, plan ahead, leave early, and bring lots of cash if you want to park near the park.
The Red Sox web site has a list of garages and lots within walking distance to Fenway.
Tip: If you don’t mind walking, the further away you are from the park, the cheaper it will be. You also have a shot at beating some of the traffic jams around the park after the game.
From the North:
Take I-95, Route 1, 1A, or 128 towards Boston.
Take Storrow Drive westbound exit. Follow that to the Fenway exit. Turn right onto Boylston Street and find a parking spot.
From the South:
Take I-95 north towards Boston. Take exit 20A to Route 9 East towards Boston. Turn left at Brookline Avenue, then right at Boylston and start looking for parking.
From the West:
Take Massachusetts Turnpike East towards Boston. Take exit 18 at the Brighton-Cambridge tolls and head towards Cambridge.
Turn right onto Storrow Drive East and get off at the Fenway exit.
Turn right onto Boylston Street, be patient and park your car.
Surprise item you’ll have to leave home: Offensive Shirts
If you have one of those “Yankees Suck” T-shirts, don’t bother wearing it. The security policy states “anyone observed with offensive articles included signs, shirts, hats, etc. may be asked to remove/discard them.” Also no brooms or “noise-making devices” (that means leave the vuvuzela at home).
You’re also expected to comply with Fenway’s code of conduct.
Surprise item you can bring in: Cameras and video cameras
They’re allowed in Fenway (not in Yankee Stadium though), but they can’t be used to “reproduce the game and must not interfere with other fans’ enjoyment of the game,” according to Fenway’s security policy. Daniel Nava’s father was able to benefit from this. He videotaped his son’s grand slam in his first Major League at bat in June 2010.
Another surprise: strollers and diaper bags are welcome as long as they can fold up and fit beneath your seats.
Where To Meet:
There are several watering holes just outside the park if you’re looking for a place to get together. The most popular ones are the Cask N’ Flagon, Boston Beer Works, Game On, or The Bleacher Bar.
If you have no interest in going to a bar or restaurant, try meeting in front of the Fenway Park Ticket office on Yawkey Way.
Fenway has five gates:
Gate A: Corner of Yawkey Way and Brookline Avenue
Gate B: Corner of Van Ness Street and Ipswich Street
Gate C: Lansdowne Street
Gate D: Corner of Yawkey Way and Van Ness Street
Gate E: Lansdowne Street near Brookline Avenue
Check: Map of Fenway Park
Getting them is not easy or cheap. The Red Sox have sold out more than 700 straight home games, which is a Major League record.
So if you’re planning a trip to Fenway, your best bet is to buy your tickets ahead of time on the Red Sox web site.
If you don’t, a limited number of tickets are available on game days at Gate E on Landsdowne Street, two hours before game time. But, be prepared to wait in line, with no guarantee you’ll get in.
Tip: Scalping outside the ballpark is illegal, but it happens. If you choose this option, your best bet is to wait until the game starts. The ticket prices usually drop with each inning played.
Tip 2: Children age two and under don’t need a ticket.
For the most part, there’s not a bad seat in the house – except for those obstructed view seats – because Fenway is one of the smallest parks in the majors.
Prices range from $12 a ticket in the upper bleachers to $328 for a dugout box seat.
The Red Sox web site has a very clear breakdown of all the seats and how much they cost for a single game.
Green Monster Seats
These are among the most popular seats in Fenway. They’re also very difficult to get and very expensive.
The Red Sox have regular auctions on their web site for the chance to bid on these seats for specific games.
This is one of Fenway’s premium seating areas high above home plate and off-limits to the general public. If you’re fortunate enough to be invited, remember there’s a dress code:
“Casual business attire is recommended. Gentlemen must wear neat and clean dress slacks, khaki pants, dress jeans or shorts, neat and clean sleeved shirts, shoes, sneakers or sandals. Women must wear neat and clean dress skirts, dresses, slacks, shorts, dress jeans, tops, shoes, sneakers or sandals.”
It can also be rented out for non-game days. For more information, visit the Red Sox web site.
If you can afford the dugout seats, you’ll not only be up close to the field, you’ll also have access to the Absolut Clubhouse, which comes with a whole set of perks of its own.
If you don’t want to run the risk of having to deal with anyone under the influence, try the CVS Family Sections. They’re located in the left field corner in grandstand sections 32 and 33 which are designated alcohol-free areas.
FOOD AND DRINK
There’s plenty of food at Fenway, where concession stands offer much more than peanuts and Cracker Jacks. In addition to roaming vendors, there are 13 stands around the ballpark:
First Base Deck & Grandstand
Gate D Concourse
Coca Cola Deck
3rd Base Concourse
Steiner Sports 3rd Base Deck
1st Base Concourse
Right Field Roof Deck
The Sox also have a handy chart on their web site that shows which stands have your favorite concessions.
So what can’t be missed? The Fenway Frank is a must-have. It’s available at every food stand. We have a hometown bias for it here.
But, in their book, The Ultimate Baseball Road-Trip: A Fan’s Guide to Major League Stadiums, Josh Pahigian and Kevin O’Connell ranked it – gasp – the number two hot dog in the majors. They also recommend the sweet Italian sausages from the vendors on Lansdowne Street behind the Green Monster.
If you’re looking for beer, there’s plenty of it and it’s expensive. In fact, in a 2009 article, the Wall Street Journal called it “the worst beer value in baseball.”
The Sox stop selling beer two and a half hours (150 minutes) after the start of the game.
A DAY AT THE GAME: WHAT IT WILL COST
Fenway is one of the most expensive ballparks to see a game in the nation. It costs more than $300 on average to take a family of four to a game at Fenway.
So what do you get for all of that money?
• Two adult average price tickets
• Two child average price tickets
• Four small soft drinks
• Two small beers
• Four hot dogs
• Two programs
AT THE STADIUM:
There are four customer service booths in the park: the big concourse, Gate D – home plate, Gate E- third base concourse, and the pavilion level (fourth level) on the first base side.
The best place to go is the “Official Red Sox Team Store” on Yawkey Way across from the Park. It’s open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hours are extended on game days, but you’ll need a ticket to the game to enter Yawkey Way.
Scoreboard Message Requests
You can have a message posted on the center field scoreboard for everyone to see, but you need to plan ahead. Because demand is so high, you have to place your request at least two days before the game you’ll be attending. There’s also a $50 fee, but it’s a tax-deductible donation that goes to The Red Sox Foundation.
To order a scoreboard message, leave a message at 617-226-6377.
Tip: if you’re looking to make a marriage proposal, that’s a different department. Call 617-226-6277.
Think you could sing the National Anthem before a game in front of 35,000 fans? This might be your shot. The Red Sox ask that you send us a CD of you or your group performing The Star-Spangled Banner, a cappella, in 90 seconds or less.
Include your biographical information along with the CD. Make sure to put your name and phone number on the CD itself, in case the CD and case get separated.
Mail Your CD to:
Boston Red Sox
4 Yawkey Way
Boston, MA 02215