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Fenway Park to Host 135th Edition of ‘The Game,’ As Harvard and Yale Bring Storied Football Rivalry to the Iconic Home of the Boston Red Sox

City of Boston, Fenway Sports Management announce nation’s second-oldest Division I
college football rivalry to take place at Major League Baseball’s oldest operating ballpark

BOSTON, MA – Fenway Sports Management and the City of Boston today announced that one of college football’s most storied and tradition-laden rivalries will be played out on the Fenway Park gridiron in 2018. The 135th rendition of Harvard and Yale’s football rivalry will be played in front of the “Green Monster” at the home of the Boston Red Sox on November 17, 2018. The game will also mark the 50th anniversary of the epic 1968 clash between the two Ivy League schools, which famously ended in a 29-29 tie.

The announcement comes on the heels of a busy off-season at Fenway, which included the 2017 Fenway Gridiron Series presented by Your Call Football – three collegiate football games featuring six of New England’s major college programs, the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic and Irish Festival and a series of high school football games.

“The Harvard Yale football game is a classic match up, and Fenway Park is a beloved Boston landmark and classic in its own right,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “Boston looks forward to hosting Harvard, and all visitors, in 2018 for this iconic game.”

Harvard and Yale first met on November 13, 1875, in the first of 134 battles on the gridiron with Harvard winning by a score of 4-0. The format of the game pre-dated the modern football scoring system and resembled rugby more than today’s version of American football. Yale leads the series, 67-59-8. The only rivalry in college football older than The Game is Yale’s annual meeting with Princeton, which began in 1873. In terms of games played in a rivalry, Harvard-Yale (134 games) ranks behind only Lafayette-Lehigh (153) and Yale-Princeton (141).

“It’s an honor to host one of the most prestigious rivalries in American collegiate athletics,” said Boston Red Sox President & CEO Sam Kennedy. “This is one of the most anticipated sporting event in the Northeast, and I know everyone at Fenway Park and Fenway Sports Management will work tirelessly to make the 135th edition of The Game a memorable experience for the players, the coaches, and the alumni. I can think of no place more fitting to host this historic game.”

The 1968 matchup ranks ninth on ESPN’s list of greatest college football ties ever and was the last tie in the rivalry’s history, as subsequent changes to overtime rules eliminated the possibility. The Bulldogs carried a comfortable lead (29-13) heading into the game’s final minute, but Harvard rallied with an 86-yard touchdown drive, then recovered an on-side kick, followed by another touchdown and a game tying two-point conversion as time expired.

“We are very excited to face our historic rival at Fenway Park, a landmark of New England sports,” said Bob Scalise, Harvard’s John D. Nichols ’53 Family Director of Athletics. “This will be a special experience for our student-athletes, student body, alumni and fans, and we are proud to partner with Fenway Sports Management for “The Game” next year.”

The football rivalry between Harvard’s Crimson and Yale’s Bulldogs is among the most revered on the American athletic scene for its combination of passion and purity to the sport, as it established the template for American college football. ‘The Game’ annually serves as the most prominent athletic contest between the Ivy institutions and is the season finale in football for the two schools. In the most recent edition, Yale defeated Harvard, 24-3, on November 18 at the Yale Bowl to finish the season 9-1 and capture the 2017 Ivy League crown.

“We are excited to play next year’s game against Harvard at one of the most iconic venues in all of sports,” said Yale Athletic Director Tom Beckett. “Fenway Park will provide an incredible stage for one of college football’s most storied rivalries. This will be an experience our student-athletes, coaches, alumni, and fans will not soon forget.”

Fenway Park has a long history with football dating back to its opening in 1912. The ballpark was commonly transformed to the gridiron for high school and college football games throughout the early 20th Century and was home to the Boston Patriots from 1963-68. In November 2015, football returned to Fenway Park for the first time since 1968 when Notre Dame hosted Boston College in their Shamrock Series game. The Harvard-Yale contest in 2018 will mark the second straight year that two Ivy League schools compete on the Fenway pitch. Serving as the opener of the 2017 Fenway Gridiron Series trilogy, Dartmouth beat Brown, 33-10, on November 10.

“Over the last three years, Fenway Park has hosted four Division I football games, including Notre Dame and Boston College in 2015 and the three just-concluded games as part of the Fenway Gridiron Series,” said Mark Lev, Managing Director of Fenway Sports Management. “Having a staff experienced in creating a diverse array of major events is key to producing a marquee football game like Harvard-Yale at Fenway Park. Our staff has first-hand knowledge for the passion of the college teams competing and the fans that follow them. That knowhow will prove invaluable as we eagerly anticipate hosting one of the great sports spectacles in America, ‘The Game’ between Harvard and Yale next November 17.”

Kickoff time and ticket information will be announced at a later date. For further information fans can visit www.redsox.com/thegame.

About Fenway Sports Management (FSM)
Fenway Sports Management (FSM) is a global sports marketing firm that specializes in partnership sales, consulting, and the creation of unique and memorable events and experiences. A wholly owned subsidiary of Fenway Sports Group, FSM is a part of an elite family of properties that includes some of the most storied names and venues in all of sports including the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool Football Club, New England Sports Network and Roush Fenway Racing. For further information visit Fenway Sports Management.

Media Contacts
Keith Gainsboro, Elevate Communications
617-895-7905, kgainsboro@elevatecom.com

Tim Williamson, Harvard University
(617) 495-2206, twilliam@fas.harvard.edu

Steven Conn, Yale College
(203) 432.1455, steven.conn@yale.edu

 

 

 

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Fenway Park Transition Begins in Preparation for the Fenway Gridiron Series Presented by Your Call Football and AIG Fenway Hurling Classic and Irish Festival

Grounds crew begins conversion from baseball to football field and hurling pitch
in advance of full slate of November special events as the ‘fastest game on turf’
and college football return to iconic ballpark

BOSTON, MA  The Fenway Park grounds crew will begin the ballpark’s transformation from a Major League Baseball diamond to a multi-purpose football field and hurling pitch on Monday, October 23, as Fenway Sports Management prepares to host a full slate of special events this November. This marks the beginning of final preparations for the return of both college football and “the fastest game on turf” respectively as the iconic ballpark gets set to host the Fenway Gridiron Series Presented by Your Call Football and the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic and Irish Festival. Field transition will take place through Wednesday, November 8.

Media interested in capturing photos, video and interviews from the field construction should send an email including name and desired date and time to SpecialEvents@elevatecom.com. Images and video of the field transformation will also be made available by Fenway Sports Management.

A planned timeline of field transition includes:

  • Week of October 23 – Field Goal posts and end zone net pole system installed on Tuesday; Pitchers mound is removed on Wednesday; Infield sod is installed Wednesday-Friday
  • Week of October 30 –  Field dimension painting begins on Monday; Logo painting begins on Tuesday
  • Week of November 6 – Warning track sod is installed; Visitor’s dugout conversion/padding begins

*Schedule and activities subject to change

The Fenway Gridiron Series Presented by Your Call Football is a two-week series of three Division I college football games, featuring six of the most prominent New England teams:

  • Friday, November 10, at 8:00 p.m. – Brown University hosts Dartmouth College
  • Saturday, November 11, at 4:00 p.m. – University of Massachusetts hosts the University of Maine
  • Saturday, November 18, at 7:00 p.m. – University of Connecticut hosts Boston College

For more information about the Fenway Gridiron Series Presented by Your Call Football, including how to purchase tickets and continuous schedule updates, please visit FenwayGridironSeries.com.

On Sunday, November 19, the day after the final game of the New England college football trilogy, the gridiron will transform into a hurling pitch as the “Ancient Irish Warrior Sport” makes its triumphant return to the historic ballpark when four of the most famous hurling clubs from Ireland battle in a three-match, one-day hurling championship at Fenway Park. Dublin will face Galway and Tipperary will take on Clare, with the winners meeting in the inaugural championship of the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic and Irish Festival. The winner of the final match will be presented with the Players Champion Cup to conclude the day’s festivities. Tickets and additional information are available at redsox.com/hurling.

On Wednesday, November 22, the Fenway Gridiron Series Presented by Your Call Football concludes with a special high school pre-Thanksgiving football doubleheader featuring Masconomet versus Everett and Hingham battling Scituate in their traditional rivalry games. Tickets for that doubleheader can be purchased by visiting redsox.com/gridiron with 25% of every ticket sold given back to the school each patron is supporting.

About Fenway Sports Management (FSM)
Fenway Sports Management (FSM) is a global sports marketing firm that specializes in partnership sales, consulting, and the creation of unique and memorable events and experiences.

A wholly owned subsidiary of Fenway Sports Group, FSM is a part of an elite family of properties that includes some of the most storied names and venues in all of sports including the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool Football Club, New England Sports Network and Roush Fenway Racing. For further information visit Fenway Sports Management. 

About Your Call Football
Your Call Football, an interactive technology company that puts fans in control of live games, is the title sponsorship of the Fenway Gridiron Series. Newton-based Your Call Football puts fans in control of live games, transforming spectator sports into interactive, social and competitive experiences. Your Call Football is upgrading the sports and gaming industries by offering gamers and football fans the chance to control a live sporting event and compete on their play-calling skills. Fans attending the Fenway Gridiron Series games will get an exclusive first look at the future of sports and gaming with demos of the Your Call Football technology and fan experience at Fenway Park. The Your Call Football platform will not have any in-game activation during the Fenway Gridiron Series.

About American International Group, Inc. (AIG)
American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a leading global insurance organization. Founded in 1919, today AIG member companies provide a wide range of property casualty insurance, life insurance, retirement products, and other financial services to customers in more than 80 countries and jurisdictions. These diverse offerings include products and services that help businesses and individuals protect their assets, manage risks and provide for retirement security. AIG’s core businesses include Commercial Insurance and Consumer Insurance, as well as Other Operations. Commercial Insurance comprises two modules – Liability and Financial Lines, and Property and Special Risks. Consumer Insurance comprises four modules – Individual Retirement, Group Retirement, Life Insurance and Personal Insurance. AIG common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Additional information about AIG can be found at www.aig.com and www.aig.com/strategyupdate | YouTube: www.youtube.com/aig | Twitter: @AIGinsurance www.twitter.com/AIGinsurance | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/aig. These references with additional information about AIG have been provided as a convenience, and the information contained on such websites is not incorporated by reference into this press release.

AIG is the marketing name for the worldwide property-casualty, life and retirement, and general insurance operations of American International Group, Inc. For additional information, please visit our website at www.aig.com. All products and services are written or provided by subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc. Products or services may not be available in all countries, and coverage is subject to actual policy language. Non-insurance products and services may be provided by independent third parties. Certain property-casualty coverages may be provided by a surplus lines insurer. Surplus lines insurers do not generally participate in state guaranty funds, and insureds are therefore not protected by such funds.

Media Contact
Keith Gainsboro, Elevate Communications
617-895-7905, kgainsboro@elevatecom.com