Fenway Park, one of the most historic venues in all of sports, is a place all baseball fans must visit at least once in their lifetimes. Built in 1912, the ballpark oozes history, from the legendary Green Monster to the grandstand views that haven’t changed in nearly a century.
While the park is a true gem, it can easily confuse first-time visitors. Here, we’ll run through everything you need to know about visiting Fenway Park, from where to park, where to sit, when to get there and what to eat.
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Words can only do Fenway Park so much justice. Sometimes, you just need to see it in all its glory.
Check out this video for a glimpse into the magic of Fenway. Though there have been countless changes to the ballpark since this video was produced in 1999, the history and aura remain constant.
OK, so you have your tickets, you know how you’re getting there and you’re ready to go. But if you’ve never been to Fenway before, or if you’re not yet an expert, here are some tips to make you a seasoned veteran.
- You can’t watch the Red Sox take batting practice, but if you’re there early, you can stand on Lansdowne Street and catch a home run or two. Once the gates open, you can watch the opposing team take BP, and if you’re loud enough, you can probably get a player to throw you a ball from the outfield.
- Feeding a family can be hard and expensive, but there are ways to do it. There’s a Papa Gino’s located above the grandstand on the first base side that sells large pizzas. The price is higher than what you’d pay at the store, but you can feed a family in one fell swoop.
- Also, if you’re feeling cramped, there are tons of open-air picnic tables in the right field concourse. It’s a good place to go if you’re in a large group, and there are some spray fans that can cool you off on those summertime afternoon games.
- Speaking of feeling hot, if you’re thirsty and want to save money, you have a couple of options. You’re allowed to bring a sealed water bottle into the game (16 oz. or smaller), which can save you $5. There’s also a little-known water fountain behind the grandstands on the third base side of home plate. (Hint: If you want to fit in with the locals, you’ll want to call it a bubbler, or more accurately, a bub-lah.)
- If you bought standing room tickets, there are some places that are much better for viewing the game than others. If you want to see the whole field, there’s a small area up on the right field roof deck where you can stand. If it’s a cold night though, you’ll want to stay closer to ground level. There’s plenty of room behind the left field grandstands, as the area has been opened up in recent years. You’ll have easy access to concession lines too, but you better have someone to hold your spot.
Standing room gets really crowded behind the infield grandstands, so you’re better off spreading toward either foul pole, even if it means standing farther from the plate.
- If you have a Green Monster ticket and you want to catch a homer during batting practice, you better bring a glove. Those things come in like missiles, and if you try to make a barehanded snag, you’ll either hurt or embarrass yourself. Or both.
- Want peanuts? Buy ’em from the guy on Yawkey Way and bring ’em in.
- Stuck at a bad game? Head out to Yawkey Way and browse The Souvenir Store. The street is closed off to ticket holders only, so it’s a good place to stretch your legs and get some air. There are also concession and beverage stands out there, as well as the game broadcast blaring through some speakers, so you won’t miss a thing.
The first step to getting to Fenway Park is buying a ticket — a task that can sometimes be difficult to accomplish. The Sox boast a sellout streak that dates back to 2003, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find a seat at Fenway. Here’s a look at some of the best methods for getting yours.
The official website of the team is also the official place to purchase tickets. The site offers fans the ability to purchase single-game tickets for most home games, with key interleague series, all Yankees series and other top-flight matchups being held for special drawings. To guarantee a ticket, it’s best to visit the site on the morning that tickets first go on sale for the year, when you’re entered into a virtual waiting room and eventually given the opportunity to purchase tickets at face value.
And don’t let the sellout streak scare you away from trying. Every now and then, you can log on to RedSox.com and get lucky with a pair of tickets available to you at face value.
Game Day Tickets
Though every game is sold out, the team does hold a limited number of tickets to sell the day of the game at Gate E on Lansdowne Street. Some tickets are for actual seats, while the rest are for standing room. While you may not have a place to sit down for the game, you are given entry into the park, where there are several designated standing areas. (Some are better than others, so check our Stadium Insider section to find some tips on the best places to stand.)
If you’re interested in purchasing a day of game ticket, make sure you show up early. Fans line up in the shadow of the Green Monster on Lansdowne Street as early as five hours before the game for some of the bigger matchups (think Friday night against the Yankees). For a standard weeknight game, getting there roughly two and a half hours before first pitch is generally a safe bet, though there are no guarantees.
It’s important to know that you have to enter the park immediately after purchasing a ticket, and only one ticket per person is sold. That means you better have your group together early, because you’re also not allowed to hold anyone’s spot in line. It can be a headache if you don’t plan ahead, but it’s the only way the system for cheap, easily accessible tickets can really work.
There are many websites dedicated to the reselling of tickets, and some are better than others. SeatGeek.com does a good job of aggregating all those sites to find the cheapest prices on the web.
AceTicket is one of the larger ticket resellers in the area, and you can even choose to pick up tickets at an Ace store right around the corner from Fenway. Doing so helps avoid some of the service or handling charges that can drive up prices from other resellers.
StubHub is another major ticket reseller, while Higs Tickets is another reseller with the option for in-store pickup.
While not a ticket reseller, Craigslist has provided Red Sox fans with many pleasant evenings at the ballpark. There have been, however, just as many unsuccessful tales, so be careful and smart if you choose to deal with strangers.
There are many reputable sites, but know that there are either inflated prices or assumed risks with just about all of them.
Though it is illegal for someone to sell a ticket for a price higher than the face value, scalping is prevalent around Fenway Park. From the second you get off the green line, you’ll be hearing dozens of people asking if you’re selling or buying. They’re not a trusted option, but scalpers have tickets to every game. If you do choose to go that route, you’re better off waiting as long as you can to buy the tickets, as the pricier tickets tend to drop as game time draws near and plummet after the game begins. Not that we know from experience or anything.
So you want to buy tickets but you don’t know what you’re doing? Let us try to help.
Field boxes aren’t actually boxes at all. They’re the seats closest to the fields, and, as you can imagine, the most expensive options. These seats are worth the money though, especially if you’re right around the Red Sox dugout. There are field boxes down the right field line as well that give you a pretty unique perspective on the game.
These are the seats directly behind the field boxes. Generally, you have an unobstructed view of the field, and you’re sitting in a slightly more comfortable red seat, as opposed to the wooden blue seats.
The bad part of these seats is that you’re farther from the field, but the good part is that you’ve got a roof over your head. That comes in handy if it’s raining or if the sun is particularly brutal. Make sure you’re ready to say, “Excuse me,” a few times, as the rows are long up there and you’ll have to squeeze by people to go get food or use the restroom.
Green Monster Seats
If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on these seats, then you have access to one of the coolest spots in all of sports. If you have standing room Monster seats, you’ll want to get there right when the gates open to get the best spot (between the light tower and foul pole’s not a bad spot). If you go for batting practice, bring your glove, as the seats get peppered with line-drive homers. The one downside is that you have a blind spot or two here, but hey, you’re on the Green Monster.
Ah, the bleachers. Every ballpark has ’em, and they’re all different. Fenway’s bleachers fit roughly 7 million people, so be prepared for a crowd. The seats close to the field provide a pretty good view of the game, plus you have a front-row seat to watch relievers warm up in the bullpens. As you get toward the back of the bleachers, the players start to look like ants a bit, but it’s often the cheapest way to get into the park. Really, the bleacher experience is what you make of it, so head in, have fun and prepare for at least one person to yell at you for not doing the wave.
These are the seats that sit high atop Fenway Park, stretching around most of the park. You have a bird’s-eye view of the game, but dress warmly. It gets cold up there. A major benefit of these seats is that you pretty much won’t have to wait in any lines, as the concession stands never get too busy up there.
How to Get to Fenway
Unlike many stadiums that are in the middle of nowhere and have miles of parking lot outside, Fenway Park is nestled right into the middle of a neighborhood. While that provides plenty of charm, it causes even more headaches in traveling to and from games.
Here’s a look at the best ways to get yourself to Fenway.
MBTA — Green Line
The green line is the oldest subway system in North America, and it shows. You have to wait in crowded, hot stations to get on a tiny, cramped trolley that travels no faster than 15 mph, and yet, it’s the easiest way to get to Red Sox games.
Don’t get confused, either — there’s a stop called “Fenway” but you’re actually better off if you get off at the Kenmore stop.
You can get to the Green Line in many different ways, so check MBTA.com to see which stations have parking lots. Here’s one example of an easy way to get to Fenway if you’re coming from the north.
Drive to Sullivan Station, pay $5.50 for parking, pay $2 to get on Subway, take Orange Line two stops to North Station, take green line eight stops to Kenmore Square.
Though you’re not always traveling at high speeds, the green line can get you to the game cheap.
Tip: If you can postpone getting on the train immediately after the game, you’ll save yourself from some humongous crowds in the station.
Bonus Tip: If you’re heading inbound, walk up Comm. Ave. about a quarter-mile and get on the trolley at the Blandford Street stop. You’ll have your own seat as you pull into a crowded Kenmore Station.
MBTA — Commuter Rail
If you’re coming from farther away from the city, you’ll likely have to hop on the Commuter Rail. Once you’re in the city, you’ll be jumping on the subway, unless you’re lucky enough to be on the Framingham/Worcester line, on which Yawkey Station lets you off right near the park.
RedSox.com has a rundown of all Commuter Rail options.
Feel free to drive to Fenway, as long as you’re prepared to:
- Deal with the traffic heading in and heading out of the game
- Pay anywhere between $20 (if you’re lucky) and $50 (more likely) for a parking spot
If you’re early enough, you’ll be able to find a metered spot along Commonwealth Avenue, in Kenmore Square and in other metered spots on the Boston University campus. The meters run until 8 p.m. and the two-hour limit is no longer enforced after that time, so you can load up the meter at 6 p.m. and you’re good to go. In going that route, though, you always risk not finding one and having to pony up some big bucks for a parking lot spot. Also, you won’t want to pull this move in Brookline, as the city recently approved meter hikes that will force Red Sox fans to pay $22 to park for games.
Basically, if you’re unfamiliar with the area and you’re scared off by city driving, try to find a method of public transportation to get you to and from the game. You’ll save money and, more importantly, energy.