It’s take No. 3 to try to play a college football bowl game at venerable Fenway Park.
The historic venue will host the Wasabi Fenway Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 11 a.m. ET. The event was canceled the last two seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It will be the first college football bowl game to ever be played at Fenway Park and will pit a team from the American Athletic Conference against an opponent from the Atlantic Coast Conference. Teams will be decided based on their regular-season record, proximity to Boston along with previous appearances and matchups. The event is organized by Fenway Sports Management and ESPN Events.
“The Wasabi Fenway Bowl will truly be a one-of-a-kind sporting event for fans everywhere,” Wasabi Technologies vice president of global brand and communications Julie Barry said in a statement. “Along with our partners at Fenway Sports Management, Wasabi is inspired to create a memorable new sports tradition in New England, and we are so excited to bring this year’s game to life at the iconic Fenway Park.”
The inaugural bowl game almost took place last season, but a COVID-19 outbreak on the University of Virginia football team just days prior to the matchup prevented it from playing SMU.
While Fenway hasn’t hosted a bowl game, it’s certainly familiar with having football games take place at the friendly confines. The Boston Patriots called Fenway home from 1963-68 and after a 47-year hiatus, football returned to the ballpark with the Shamrock Series game in 2015 with Boston College facing rival Notre Dame.
Two years later, the Fenway Gridiron Series featured three college football games before Fenway Park hosted the 135th edition of “The Game” between Harvard and Yale in 2018. Fenway Park has also been the backdrop of several Massachusetts high school rivalry games during the week of Thanksgiving in recent years.
“We are so proud to be a part of the Wasabi Fenway Bowl which provides an outstanding opportunity for
our football student-athletes, coaches, alumni and fans,” ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips said in a statement. “Boston is an amazing city and home to the iconic Fenway Park. We appreciate all the amazing work by ESPN Events and Fenway Sports Management.”
“We are delighted to have the date of the 2022 Wasabi Fenway Bowl locked in and look forward to
welcoming fans on December 17,” Fenway Sports Management president Mark Lev said in a statement. “We have put a tremendous amount of effort into activating Fenway Park 365 days a year to bring diverse experiences that attract a wide range of audiences. We cannot wait for the return of college football this winter.”
The 2022 Wasabi Fenway Bowl will be televised on ESPN.