Fenway Park, known as “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark” and located within the Kenmore Square neighborhood of Boston, first opened in 1912 as home of the MLB Boston Red Sox. More than a century later the Red Sox still call Fenway home and seeing a game there is a must-do for any baseball lover or history buff.
Building of Fenway Park
While the original owners of the Red Sox, General H. Taylor and son John I. Taylor, sold the team to James McAleer in 1911, they still oversaw Fenway Park’s construction. The plot of the land they sought to build Fenway Park on was asymmetrical—and today leaves very little room around it given its middle-of-the-city location—which is why the dimensions of the field are a bit unique. The positioning of the field was largely based on the sun, as the goal was to keep it out of batters’ eyes when they were playing in the late afternoon.
When it opened in 1912, Fenway Park consisted only of the center field bleachers, right field grandstand, and the grandstand around the infield. As the World Series approached that season, more renovations took place to add the left and right field bleachers and along with some temporary seating in front of the left field wall and outfield to accommodate additional guests.
In 1933, new owner Tom Yawkey went to work reconstructing Fenway Park, extending the grandstand and redoing the bleachers with concrete, among other updates. Lights were installed in 1947, which allowed for night games. This was also when the 37.2-foot-tall left field wall was painted green—today’s iconic “Green Monster.” The first home run over this wall was on April 26, 1912 by Hugh Bradley.
Over the course of the years that followed, and to this day, the park continued to evolve. Updates have included a roofing project that resulted in the addition of luxury boxes and roof seating, a new scoreboard, press box, premium club, and more. In the 1980s, Fenway Park added a red seat that commemorates Ted Williams’ 1946, 502-foot home run. Under the ownership of John Henry, Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino in 2003, came the Green Monster seats and the Big Concourse, then the Right Field Roof Deck and statue of Ted Williams in 2004. In 2006, the EMC Club and State Street Pavilion were introduced.
Opening Season: World Series Champions
The first game at Fenway Park was an exhibition game on April 9, 1912 between the Red Sox and Harvard University, which the Red Sox won 2-0. Later that month, on April 20, 1912, was the first regular season game was played at Fenway between the Red Sox and New York Highlanders, with 27,000 fans watching. The Red Sox started out their time at Fenway Park on top, as the 1912 season brought 105 regular season game wins—a record that still stands today—and they won both the American League Pennant and then the World Series against the New York Giants.
What to See at Fenway Park
Of course, the main attraction at Fenway Park are the Boston Red Sox, with the regular season typically taking place from around late-March to late-September with playoffs in October. But there are lots of other events that take place at Fenway throughout the year, from stadium concerts with top musicians like Billy Joel and Zac Brown Band, to the Frozen Fenway, where collegiate hockey is played right on the field.
Fenway Park Tours
Given Fenway Park’s history, it’s no surprise that touring the baseball stadium is a top attraction, especially for out-of-towner baseball enthusiasts. While you can’t beat an experience at an actual Red Sox game, there’s plenty to see and learn through one of the many tours Fenway Park offers.
Fenway Park offers 60-minute guided tours, along with “Fenway in Fifteen”—a shortened version that ends on the Right Field Roof Deck for views of the stadium and city—educational tours for students, other group tours, birthday packages, and more. Tours will take you through Red Sox history and key parts of the stadium, including the iconic Green Monster wall overlooking left field.
Buy your tickets online up to 30 days in advance; there are only a limited amount of tickets available at Gate D if you choose to get them day-of. Tour pricing varies, but the 60-minute guided tours cost $21 for adults, $15 for children ages 3-12, and $17 for military.
Getting Tickets to Fenway Park Events
Tickets to Boston Red Sox games and other events like concerts can be purchased through MLB.com, via phone, or at the Fenway Park box office. Much like other stadiums and professional sporting events, pricing will depend on who the Red Sox are playing and where the seats are. If you plan far enough out, you’re likely to get the best price. You can sign up for an MLB account to get on the Red Sox mailing list if you want to ensure that any last-minute deals on tickets are delivered to your inbox.
Getting to Fenway Park
Your best bet for getting to Fenway Park is to leverage the city’s public transportation. The closest MBTA stop is Kenmore Station, located along the Green Line’s B, C, or D routes. If you’re riding the D line, you can also get off at Fenway Station. The commuter rail Lansdowne Station, which was formerly called Yawkey Station, is also nearby. If it’s easier to take transportation into North Station, the Green Line is easily accessible from there. Remember that the last Green Line train leaves Kenmore Station at 12:40 a.m.—and the trains before and after games do get quite crowded.
If you plan to drive to Fenway, plan ahead and reserve a spot through ParkWhiz online or by downloading their app. Recommended nearby parking lots include the 100 Clarendon Garage, Ipswich Garage, and Prudential Center Garage. Parking4Fenway.com is another (less official) resource.
Where to Eat and Drink
The Kenmore Square and Fenway area may not be big in size, but there are many options for food and drink in and around the park. Keep in mind that you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time before a game or concert, as these places fill up quickly and typically have a wait.
For a unique experience, grab a drink at Bleacher Bar on Lansdowne Street, which is underneath Fenway Park’s Green Monster, where you can see right onto the field before the game. If anything, it’s a fun photo opportunity!
Other popular bars that also serve food include Game On, Boston Beer Works, Cask ‘n Flagon, Yard House, Eastern Standard, and Lansdowne Pub. A newer addition to the area is Eventide Fenway, which is where you’ll want to go for delicious lobster rolls and oysters.
There are also plenty of concessions within Fenway Park serving everything from the popular “Fenway Frank” hot dog to chicken fingers, popcorn, pretzels, and more. The bars have also extended their offerings from your typical Bud Light to include local beer options and select mixed drinks.
Where to Stay
If you’re visiting Boston specifically for an event at Fenway Park, you may want to also stay at a nearby hotel. Choose from the Hotel Commonwealth in Kenmore Square, The Elliot a few blocks further down Commonwealth Avenue, the newer Verb Hotel, or the more affordable Residence Inn. But if you opt to stay elsewhere in the city, it’s easy to get to the Fenway area via walking, public transportation, or Uber.