BOSTON — Fenway Park is the most iconic baseball stadium in America, but on Saturday night it had all the pageantry and tradition of a great college football venue.
The Boston Red Sox’s home played host to its first football game since 1968 as No. 4 Notre Dame defeated Boston College 19-16 to improve to 10-1.
Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly, who was born in Everett, Mass., took a moment before kickoff to appreciate the special scene for the next chapter in the “Holy War” rivalry.
“I did when I came out. I came out a little earlier than I normally do. I came out like 15 minutes earlier,” Kelly said. “I just looked around, and I thought the Fenway Park people and (Red Sox executive vice president and COO) Sam Kennedy did a terrific job transforming the park into a football field.
“It really felt like a football stadium. It didn’t feel like you were squeezed in or shorted anywhere, other than the sideline situation, which I said we could manage. It just felt like a great venue.”
When asked if he thought more football games should be played at Fenway, Kelly responded “I think they should.”
Not only did the ballpark look like a football stadium with Notre Dame’s blue-painted end zones and the “Shamrock Series” logo on the Green Monster, the field conditions also were in top shape.
“I was very surprised how well the track played,” Kelly said. “The footing was excellent, it was a fast field. I was very, very pleased with the track itself.”
Since 2010, Fenway Park has hosted the World Series, the NHL’s Winter Classic, college hockey games and now a college football game, among other things.
Up next is the sport of hurling on Sunday.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Nov 21, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; A general view during the second quarter of the NCAA football game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Boston College Eagles at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports