Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, is the oldest major league ballpark in America…and given the rabid nature of Red Sox fans and the fondness baseball fans around the country have for history, it’s also one of the most popular. The Red Sox are riding a string of over 600 consecutive sellouts! So if you’re planning to go, make sure you get the most out of your visit. You’ll need a plan.
Start with getting tickets. A very wise thing to do is to sign up for the Red Sox ticket alert newsletter; you’ll need to open an account on MLB’s website. It is not difficult and is very worth it… they’ll make you aware of any promotions going on, and you’ll learn exactly when tickets go on sale. If you live in the Boston area or know someone who does, you can send them to the Fenway box office on that day (probably in February, so dress warm!), and pick up tickets directly rather than wait at the Red Sox website for the server to notice you. If you are too late on that, you can use a broker to get tickets; I highly recommend SeatGeek to search them.
Before you buy tickets, though, have a plan for where you want to sit. Each area of Fenway has different pricing levels and advantages and disadvantages. For example, the Green Monster seats are great for the experience, but they’re expensive, difficult to get, and don’t really offer a great view. On the other hand, great seats can be had in the first few field box sections down the first base line for a price that, well, isn’t too expensive for Fenway. And there’s actually some decent standing room at Fenway if you know where to look.
Above all make sure you avoid obstructed views; if you’re buying at the box office, you should avoid Grandstand seats altogether just to be safe. Don’t trust that just because a ticket isn’t marked “obstructed view” doesn’t mean you’ll be able to see everything. If you’re buying online, there is an excellent website called “Precise Seating” that evaluates nearly every seat at Fenway Park, and you can use them to get the skinny on just about any ticket available!
After you score tickets, you’ll need a way to get there. Most Red Sox fans use the MBTA Green Line train (Bostonians call the MBTA train system the “T”) to the Kenmore station, where it is a short walk to Fenway. You need to use the B, C, or D train—the E train veers off in a different direction. The T is probably the easiest way to get to Fenway—although you can use different trains or even stations to avoid crowds.
Driving to Fenway is difficult, but not impossible, and there are actually a few decent parking options, like the Prudential Center about 15 minutes walk away. If you’re rally Boston savvy, you can find an on street meter near the park and feed it until 6:00 PM; this is tricky but is an absolute steal if you can pull it off. If you do drive to Fenway, you should consider not parking too close to the ballpark—not only is it more expensive but it means much more traffic when leaving.
Are you planning to eat at Fenway? There’s nothing wrong with that Fenway Frank of course…a Kayem Foods dog wrapped up in a squishy white bread bun. But don’t forget about those sausages outside the park. You can find them in every direction around the park. The best ones by most accounts are “The Sausage Guy” and the “Sausage Connection”. The Sausage Connection offers a popular hot sauce called Inner Beauty, for the brave among us.
And the Red Sox have set the concessions bar to a new high on their own; Yawkey Way is now closed off for games and is home to Boston BBQ, Papa Gino’s Pizza, and El Tiante, where you can grab a Cuban sandwich and most days get your picture taken with former Sox pitcher Luis Tiant. They’ve also knocked down some walls behind right field, and a Big Concourse has been added, with more and different food options, including New England clam chowdah!
Finally, you’ll need a place to celebrate a Red Sox victory; Cask-N-Flagon behind the Green Monster is a favorite of Red Sox fans, but there are plenty of bars and restaurants in the area to get your festivity on, especially on Lansdowne St. Take some time and let the crowds file out on the T.
Going to a Red Sox game is a wonderful experience that should be a bucket list item for any baseball fan. But make sure you’re in the know before you go in!
This article is just an introductory guide. You can learn much, much more about all of these things with a PDF-format Fenway Park E-Guide—available here!