While we prep for sledding hills in the outfield and hockey in the infield, get ready to talk pigskin. Rumors, starting with the Globe and their sources, are suggesting that the Boston College and Notre Dame could move their 2015 tilt to Fenway Park (incidentally, the two schools are set to lace up for some outdoor hockey in the next few weeks at the same venue).
A few years ago for a different blog, I did the research to figure out how it would work to bring football back to Fenway – BC had played there until the mid-50s, and the Patriots played there as late as 1968. It’s important to consider what this will be compared to – a clustergame at Wrigley Field in 2010 where Northwestern and Illinois were forced to share an endzone due to poor planning:
You may recall that a few seasons ago, Northwestern and Illinois played each other at Wrigley Field – just as Fenway had once hosted the Eagles and Patriots, Wrigley once hosted many football games from colleges and the pros. The problem, though, is that the stadiums have been updated, albeit incrementally, and there are significantly more conditions and technology that surround the games that require more space. Even though it seemed like it would fit, a last minute decision was made to use only one end zone (the out of bounds area behind one of them would have abutted one of the brick walls).
[At Fenway,] the closest the field gets to the walls are the warning track by the Triangle and then down by the away team dugout. You’re looking at about 15+ feet buffer in the high sides, but where the sticking point was in Wrigley (the right field corner), Fenway has the advantage of the cavernous area by Pesky’s Pole. This could actually still work, even with the bullpens still in play.
So, there’s that for your water cooler conversations.
[Fenway diagram via.]