Boston is a sports town. The goings-on of the likes of David Ortiz and Tom Brady are fodder for pub talk, the local newscasts, reams and reams of the Herald and the Globe, and even a certain newly relaunched neighborhoods, architecture, and real estate blog.
So it's little surprise that the city of barely 650,000 is home to a hefty number of notable sports sites. Here are the seven most notable.
4 Yawkey Way, Fenway
Any tour of the city's most significant sports sites would have to include the home of the Red Sox. Fenway is the oldest Major-League ballpark in the U.S., dating from 1912. It seats about 37,000, give or take and depending on whether it's a night or a day game. Fun fact: Fenway is also one of the tiniest MLB parks, with (among other diminutives) the shallowest outfield and shortest distance to center field.
79 North Harvard Street, Allston
Harvard's home field dates from 1903, and was the first freestanding concrete stadium in the United States. That feat was ground-breaking enough, but the arena's design also inspired the development of the forward pass in football, a move that revolutionized the game (to say the least). It holds around 60,000 spectators, max, with temporary seating around the horse shoe's open end.
925 Commonwealth Avenue, Allston
Boston University's men's hockey arena (among other uses) is the youngest and smallest number in this gallery of Boston's most significant sports sites. It opened in 2005, and seats between roughly 6,100 and 7,200, depending on the event. Agganis replaced the Commonwealth Armory, which started life as a military depot in the early 20th century and then ended its run as a concert venue.
Boston College Alumni Stadium
140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill
Boston College's football stadium dates from 1957, when it opened to replace an Alumni Field woefully under-capacity for the growing popularity of the game at the school (which is now part of the ACC). It seats more than 44,000 after two expansions, the last one in 1995.
100 Legends Way, the West End
The successor of the Boston Garden opened in 1995, and holds between 18,000 and 20,000, depending on the event. The arena, which has been majorly renovated three times and which is about to get a massive addition next-door, is home to the NHL's Bruins and the NBA's Celtics. There is also a museum inside dedicated to New England sports.
20-30 Gaffney Street and Harry Agganis Way, Allston
Born out of the former Braves Field used by the MLB franchise that decamped to Milwaukee in 1953, Boston University's stadium was one of the first in the nation to adopt AstroTurf, beginning in the late 1960s (FieldTurf, another kind of fake grass, has since supplanted it). The arena seats only about 10,500. Fun fact: It was the first home of what were then called the Boston Patriots from 1960 to 1962, well before the advent of the NFL and the construction of Gillette.
Boston Marathon Finish Line
665 Boylston Street, Back Bay
This end point, of course, took on immense symbolism after the terrorist bombing there in 2013 that injured dozens and killed three at the site, and less than three days later led to the death of an M.I.T. police officer (as well as to that of one of the two terrorists behind the murders). The nearly 120-year-old marathon's finish line remains justly recognized worldwide as the endpoint of America's most famous footrace, although it will always be bound up in the tragic events of April 15, 2013.
- Fenway: the Shallow and Short of One of MLB's Tiniest Fields [Curbed Boston]
- Why Harvard Stadium's Revolutionary Concrete Construction Changed the Rules of Football [Curbed National]
- The Hub at Causeway: the Details on the Big TD Garden Party [Curbed Boston]
- Where the Patriots Played Home Games Before Gillette [Curbed Boston]
- The Many Real Estate Adventures of Tom Brady [Curbed Boston]