Going to the Game
Tips and tricks for your next Fenway experience
Tickets for 2011 games are going fast! The Red Sox have sold out every home game since May 15, 2003, and are well on their way to doing it again this year.
See the full schedule
One-page, printable schedule
Ticket prices range from $12 (upper bleachers) to $135 (field box). Premium areas like the Green Monster, Right Field Roof, and the new Pavilion Level cost more, but have standing room tickets available for $25 to $35. Tickets are available for Red Sox home games now at the RedSox.com Ticket Office.
Looking for tickets? See the tips below, and remember to check the Red Sox Online Ticket Office frequently as the day of the game approaches. They often put additional tickets onsale - including seats together - a day or two before the game.
Getting tickets can be the most challenging part of your trip to Fenway, but with a little planning, you can make sure you're there. Fenway Park has sold out over 500 straight games since May 15, 2003, so you'll want to plan ahead. Tickets are traditionally sold online through the RedSox.com Online Ticket Office according to the following schedule:
- 4-game Sox Pax and individual April, May, and September games online in mid-December
- Most remaining games online in late January or early February
- Yankee games, Green Monster, and Right Field Roof seats via separate email drawings in March
The online sales can be frustrating, so stay patient and flexible. As long as you're not picky about what day of the week you go or what opponent you see or where your seats are, you should be able to find something. Sometimes it's taken me over 8 hours to get through the Virtual Waiting Room online, but even after that long, it's still possible to find seats.
Even if you get shut out on the first day of ticket sales, or if you want to pick up another game once the season has started, it's not too late. Try these tips:
- During the season, try calling 877-REDSOX9 and speaking to a live person. The ticket sales people can find "piggy-back" seats where two or three seats are one behind the other, which don't show up online.
- Sometimes additional tickets are made available online shortly before each game - even the night before or earlier in the day of the game. Check online often at the start of a homestand as the day of the game approaches. These tickets are purchased online and picked up at a Will Call window near any gate.
- If all else fails, I also know from experience that there are a small number of tickets (sometimes as many as a couple hundred) that go onsale the day of the game, including good seats returned by the players or the visiting team, plus standing room. (Wait in line outside Gate E on the day of the game for access to these. This really works! The line officially forms 5 hours before the game, and tickets are sold one per person as soon as the gates open 2 hours before gametime. See the Red Sox site for more info on Day of Game ticket sales.)
The 2011 Spring Training schedule is now available. Pitchers and catchers report to Fort Myers on February 13. Position players report February 17. Games begin on February 26.
See the spring training schedule
Spring training ticket prices range from $10 to $46 per game. Tickets are available now at RedSox.com.
Directions: Let's face it. If you don't already know where Fenway Park is, you probably won't find it. Just ask any new player who tries to find the park for the first time. The official directions, as well as parking info, are printed on the Red Sox site. There are a few rules: First, don't assume that just because a sign on the highway says "Fenway Park, next exit" that you will actually see any more signs after you exit. Second, if you do see signs that say "Fenway", ignore them; they point to "The Fenway", which is a road that doesn't actually go to the ballpark. (These are tactics we use to keep Yankee fans out.) From Storrow Drive, follow signs to Kenmore Square, then follow the streams of people up the hill and over the bridge to Fenway Park. Of course, there's very little parking available, and the lots that are there will cost $30-40. The best way to get to the game is to take advantage of public transportation, and ride the T. If you do take the T, take the Green line to the Kenmore stop (not the one called Fenway - it's further away) and walk up the hill. For info on subway stops and train schedules, see the MBTA web site. Also remember that parking meters are free on Sundays in the city of Boston, so if you have a Sunday game, you can get a spot on the street for free just by showing up a little early.
Around Fenway: If you're looking for a place to eat and drink before or after the game, check out the recommendations at the Boston Discovery Guide. If you're looking for hotels in Boston, see a map and reviews on TripAdvisor.
Elsewhere in Boston: While you're in town, check out other attractions at Boston.com or the Boston Attraction Guide. Don't forget to take a Fenway Park Tour: see my pics and the official site.
Spring Training: For everything you need to know to plan your trip to Spring Training, see this page.
At the Game
Batting Practice: You'll want to experience all there is to Fenway, so make sure to arrive early. Gates open two hours before the game. On typical days, the Red Sox will be finishing up batting practice when the gates open (the home team goes first in B.P.), so go right in and take a seat near the Red Sox dugout to watch. (Of course, not every game will have batting practice; if it's raining or too hot or an afternoon game after which the team will be heading out on the road, they may choose to skip it. Also sometimes the visiting team skips and the Red Sox bat in the later slot.)
Red Sox Nation Members: If you have a Red Sox Nation card, you can enter 1/2 hour early (2 1/2 hours before the start of the game) through Gate C. You'll be able to go up on the Green Monster and watch the Red Sox take batting practice. (The $15 RSN membership lets you and a guest enter early for all your games all season long, and you'll also be eligible for other prizes and drawings throughout the year; there's no need to overspend on their other gimmicky levels of membership.)
|Finding the right row at Fenway can be tricky, but remember these two tips: rows are located in front of the step that has their number, and row numbers are marked on the side of the end chair. In this picture, the seat with the unpainted slats is row 5, seat 1.
Food and Drink: You're allowed to take a water bottle into the park, as long as it's still sealed. If you're over 21 and not planning on drinking, visit the Designated Driver booth inside Gate A to get a coupon for a free soda.
What to See: After batting practice is over, you'll have time to walk around.
- An hour before the game, head out to Yawkey Way, where NESN's pre-game show is often being filmed. While on the street, look in the windows above the souvenir store to see posters hanging that represent the day's starting lineup.
- Stop in the souvenir store to find Autograph Alley, where a former Red Sox player or coach will be signing autographs.
- Go back into the park through Gate A, and look for the booths that used to be ticket windows in Fenway Park's early days. They're now display cases housing memorabilia from the Sox' trips to the World Series in 1946, 1967, 1975, 1986, 2004, and 2007.
- If it's your first time at Fenway, stop by the Fan Services Booth inside Gate D for a small gift.
- See if you can find these other Fenway oddities: original parts of the park marked with plaques, like the 1912 Door, the Steel Bridge, and the Copper Tanks; and the red seat in Section 42 of the bleachers, where Ted Williams hit the longest home run in Fenway history.
Game Etiquette: Follow a couple of simple guidelines to make sure everyone has a great time at the park. Find your seats before the game so you're not disturbing people in the wrong section or row after the game starts. Try to time your bathroom and concession trips so you're getting up between innings instead of interrupting everybody else in your row in the middle of the action. Throw your empty beer cups, mustard-covered hot dog wrappers, and other messy trash under your own chair, not the seat in front of you, because some people stow their bags under their seats. And if it rains, don't open an umbrella in the stands; head to the concourse if the rain bothers you. Your neighbors thank you!
|The RedSoxDiehard.com Scorecard Book|
Don't leave for your next game at Fenway without the new RedSoxDiehard.com Scorecard Book! Printed on heavy paper and spiral bound, it contains enough scoresheets for 30 games, enabling you to carry it with you all season long, and providing a permanent record of the games you've attended. Click here for more info or to order your copy.
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