Fenway Park: Travel Guide for a Red Sox Game in Boston

Things You Need to Know When Going to a Red Sox game at Fenway Park

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By User werkunz1 on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as "Fenway Stadium") [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

There are only two baseball stadiums that have been in existence for at least 100 years, which is an anomaly in this day and age. Fenway Park may not hold up to some of the newer ballparks in terms of amenities or food choices, but there are few places in baseball with the same atmosphere as a Red Sox game, especially an important one. The ownership has also done a great job in recent years to improve the ballpark by adding new seating areas, expanded concessions, and new experiential items on Yawkey Way.

If you’re a sports junkie, Fenway Park is something to check off your bucket list before you die.

Tickets & Seating Areas

Given the Red Sox success in recent years, you’d expect demand to be rather high for tickets. In fact, demand has always been high for Red Sox tickets. If anything it’s less now that the team has been so successful because the fans don’t have the same passion for victory as they once did. On the primary ticketing side, you can buy tickets through the Red Sox either online, via phone, or at the Fenway Park box office. Pricing varies depending on who the opponent is currently with five different price tiers.

There are twenty different price points per game with tickets being as cheap as $10 for upper bleachers to a “Sox Saver Game.”

If you plan far enough in advance (say two months or more), you can find extremely good seats through the primary market. Even those vaunted Green Monster seats are available as long as you’re planning in advance, but the Red Sox limit those to games approximately two months in advance or sooner. Standing room (perfectly reasonable views) are as low as $45 with first row seats costing as much as $600 for an opponent like the Yankees. The Green Monster seats are an enjoyable experience to do at least once because of its historic significance, but I prefer the Budweiser Right Field Rood Deck for a similar experience.

Just remember that Fenway Park was constructed a long time ago, so a lot of the seats do t actually face home plate (you’ll be looking towards the outfield if you stare straight ahead) and there’s limited leg room. Just try to avoid the outfield Grandstand because your view is obstructed by those darn poles holding up the roof.

There’s plenty of inventory and options for the secondary market, but the scenario has changed in 2016. The Red Sox have set up a system to encourage fans to use their official secondary market, Red Sox Replay and not Stubhub. Therefore you may see less inventory on Stubhub than in previous year. There are also ticket aggregators like SeatGeek and ‎TiqIQ and local secondary market operations like Ace Ticket, who have a storefront in Kenmore Square located around the corner from Fenway. Local fans will give up their tickets to Ace when they're in a hurry and worried about getting stuck with the loss.

Ace has an online presence as well, but you'll benefit most from making a last minute decision to go to a game and strolling into their storefront. And then you can always try the old fashioned way of buying them on the street outside Fenway, where there's always some inventory for sale with lower pricing an inning or two into the game.

Getting There

Your best option for transportation to the game is of the public variety. Take the T (Boston's subway system) to either Kenmore Square via the Green Line's B, C, or D routes. (You can take the D to the Fenway stop specifically, but it gives you a little less atmosphere on your walk in and it’s one stop further.) It's easily accessible since it runs through the heart of the city with the biggest connection stops being Government Center and Park Street. There's also the railroad with the Yawkey stop, allowing people to get in from the suburbs.

You can drive to the ballpark since there's some parking around the stadium, but it's not advised. There are limited parking lots, prices are high, and you'll get clogged up leaving Fenway since you're basically in the middle of the city. But there is a website out there to help you.

Pregame & Postgame Fun

One of the best things about Fenway Park is that it's located in the middle of Boston, slightly away from downtown, but still‎ within city a part of the city that's reasonably busy. (Boston is a small major city to begin with.) There are plenty of places around Fenway to go for food and drinks before and after the game. One of the biggest spots is Game On located on the same city block as Fenway. They have two floors of fun and lots of TVs, but there will probably be a line before or right after a big game.

Cask 'n Flagon across the street gives you the same all round. Boston Beer Works on the other side of Lansdowne Street gives you about 13 beers on tap and better food than both. You can even get in there to stand at the bar with a beer before a World Series game. Other bars line the surrounding streets, but nothing sticks out among the rest.  But sure you can have fun at Lansdowne Pub or Who’s on First or Yard House or wherever you end up.

Move slightly further away and you have a few more good options. Jerry Remy's is on Boylston Street, and gives you everything that Game On and Cask ‎& Flagon give you, and has a rood deck for eating and drinking. If you're looking more for food, check out Sweet Cheeks Q for the best barbecue food in Boston. It's only a 6 minute walk and the pulled pork, fried chicken and biscuits with the honey butter are worth the trip. There’s also an outpost of the famous Pizzeria Regina in the same area, but it’s somewhat sacrilegious to go to a location other than the original in the North End.

U Burger is a newer Boston University staple in Kenmore Square if you like creating your own burger. If you want to go fancier, Island Creek Oyster Bar is right by the Kenmore Square T stop and is one of the top modern seafood restaurants in Boston. The Clam Chowder isn’t as creamy as most, but it’s still good. The red trout is also enjoyable, but if you’re not ordering some seafood from the raw bar, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

And I’d be remiss to not mention Bleacher Bar, located (you guessed it) below the Bleachers of Fenway Park with an entrance on Lansdowne Street. It’s cool in the fact that you can actually look into Fenway Park through the outfield wall. It gets even better because there’s a window in the guys’ bathroom that allows you to look through that and the outfield wall into Fenway Park. But people in the bar can watch you while you piss so don’t make any weird faces or anything.

At the Game

If you didn't grab food before the game, there are still plenty of options at the game. Your first thing should be a Fenway Frank because they’re a staple of the ballpark and are actually the best ballpark hot dogs in baseball. Once you’re done with the Fenway Frank, you can enjoy the Italian sausage as well. The Big Concourse behind right and center field has a lot of good options like the pot roast sandwich or pulled pork. A new feature is the Tasty Burger (a local Boston favorite) stand on the lower level of the Third Base Deck.

The beef tenderloin sandwich and the poutine, more new addition in the Right Field Roof Deck, come out on top too.

Hotels

If you don't live in the area and made a trip to Boston just for a Red Sox game, you should probably stay a little further downtown to really enjoy the experience. There are a few places near Fenway if you do end up there. The biggest, baddest hotel is the Hotel Commonwealth in Kenmore Square, but it’ll cost a pretty penny. The Elliot is another big time hotel only a few blocks further down Commonwealth Avenue. Your somewhat cheaper option close to the ballpark is the Residence Inn or the new Verb Hotel, which took over the old Howard Johnson on Boylston and re-did the rooms, but that hasn’t been review much on Trip Advisor yet.

Otherwise anything you get further downtown near Boylston Street, the Boston Commons, or Government Center should work out quite well.