Being a Sports Fan in Boston

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 90 years, you probably have some inkling of the fact that Boston has a whole freaking lot of professional sports teams, and a whole freaking lot of very passionate sports fans. I’m sure the level of hysteria here could be somewhat tiring to someone who isn’t into sports or who is, for example, a fan of a non-New England based team. Happily, I am neither of those things, and one of my absolute favorite things about living in Boston has been the ability to enjoy so many different sports. So, I decided to put together a mini-sports guide for the new Bostonian who, like me, has at least a passing interest in almost every single sport – and also possesses very little money!  (I unfortunately am leaving out two huge sports – basketball and football – because I haven’t yet made it to a Celtics or a Patriots game, nor have I discovered any cheap ways to see games in perhaps a lower league or something like that. That will have to be my next task!)

Baseball: In a shocking twist, most Bostonians are kind of into the Red Sox juuuuuust a smidge. I knew that already, but I was SO EXCITED when I first moved here to discover just how easy and relatively cheap it is to check out a game. People gripe about various aspects of Fenway Park, but I personally fault neither its location – right in the heart of the city, less than a 10 minute walk from BU’s campus, accessible by many modes of public transportation – nor the prices. $9 standing room tickets for students are a dream, and, if you pick a game to attend a few months in advance, there are plenty of decent seats for less than $30. I’ve been to tons of games, and it’s truly one of my favorite things to do in the spring and summer.

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Fenway Park in April

Fenway Park in April, during one of the first home games of the 2015 season

Hockey: Until I moved from South Carolina to Boston, the full extent of my knowledge about hockey was anything said or done in the Mighty Ducks movies. And I still don’t know much, admittedly, but there are tons of opportunities to see live hockey outside of the Boston Bruins. (The tickets for Bruins games are just too expensive for me to swing, unfortunately.) First, you have the Providence Bruins – great team, and the games take place in (duh) Providence, RI, an easy drive from Boston. The tickets are also much cheaper than the Boston Bruins, and the seats are better.  You also have the opportunity to see tons of college-level hockey at a good price; between BU, Boston College, Northeastern, and Harvard,  there’s almost always one team competing in the later rounds of the NCAA Championship. Finally, the NWHL (National Women’s Hockey League), the only professional women’s hockey league in the country, just started this past season. There are only four teams currently, based in Boston, Buffalo, Brooklyn, and Stamford, Connecticut. Because the league is so new, the games are an incredibly awesome value. I went to several with my roommate this year, and the tickets are only $20 ($10 for students!). The seating at Harvard, where the Boston Pride play, is general admission, so we literally sat on the front row, right behind the net, for some of the games. I highly recommend these games, and really hope the NWHL grows its fan base over the next few years.

A Providence Bruins game

A Providence Bruins game

A Boston Pride home game, from our seats right on the ice. Source: my roommate, Sam, possibly the world's biggest women's hockey fan

A Boston Pride home game, from our seats right on the ice. Source: my roommate, Sam, possibly the world’s biggest women’s hockey fan

Soccer: Boston has both a men’s and women’s professional soccer team. The New England Revolution plays at Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots play, in Foxborough, which is about 45 minutes outside of Boston by car. The tickets for the “pit,” where most of the loud, cheering, often drunk fanatics sit, are incredibly reasonable and provide a great view of the action.  Similarly, the women’s team, the Boston Breakers, sell general admission tickets for around $20. Games with both of these teams are incredibly fun and really high energy, especially when the weather is cooperating.

New England Revolution game, view from the pit

New England Revolution game, view from the pit

Boston Breakers

Boston Breakers game at Harvard

Tennis: This one is kind of cheating, because there is no real Boston-based opportunity to see professional tennis. (There are the Boston Lobsters, a team in the World Team Tennis league, but they actually play in Manchester, which is about 45 minutes away from Boston by car.)  Still, I’m including it because leagues do occasionally have cheap events in Boston. I went to an exhibition on the champions tour last spring with a friend of mine, and we got to see Andy Roddick, James Blake, John McEnroe, and Todd Martin up close.  I think we paid about $40 or $50 for the tickets, and the evening was SUPER fun. We even got moved to the front row by a random security guard for the last set!

Pictured: Andy Roddick serving

Pictured: Andy Roddick serving during the Champions Series event at BU’s Agganis Arena

 

 

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