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Boston College Declines To Host Football Game vs. UConn at Fenway Park in 2016

Bates says thanks but no thanks to Fenway return

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

According to the Boston Globe, Boston College has rejected an offer from the Red Sox to host next year's BC vs. UConn football game at Fenway Park. In this return trip to Fenway, BC would have been the home team, unlike this past fall when BC was the "road" team against Notre Dame.

In the Globe story, Brad Bates didn't reject the idea of ever playing at Fenway again, but noted that next year was a non-starter because BC only had 6 home games scheduled at Alumni Stadium. Due to the Aer Lingus Classic in Ireland, BC is already playing one of their scheduled home games off-site.

This is an interesting story from a BC perspective. BC vs. UConn seemed like a potential natural fit for a Fenway game; the New England rivalry could potentially frequently fill the stadium if played multiple times, with each team getting a chance to wear the home colors.

That said, I'm fully in agreement with Bates that 6 games at Alumni Stadium is the bare minimum BC should play at home. I'm a fan of finding ways to add unique opportunities to add more "home" games to the schedule, like playing at Fenway last year or at Gillette in 2014 and again this coming season. But giving up two home games would be too much - especially since the offer will likely hold to one day play a game at Fenway again should BC want to. Additionally, I'm looking forward to seeing how BC vs. UConn draws at Alumni.

On the flip side here, BC fans can't have it both ways. There was lots of complaining about last year's Fenway game and the specter of BC being on the road, despite the fact that the alternative was a regular road game at South Bend (or perhaps no series with the Irish at all; remember that this deal was signed prior to ND entering into a rotating scheduling arrangement with the ACC).

One of the reasons why BC agreed to the road setup at Fenway was that the alternative was probably Notre Dame still coming to town and "taking over BC's turf," but doing so in a game against UConn or UMass, shutting BC out of gaining any publicity from the game and potentially leading to a different kind of embarrassment. The Red Sox a) don't owe BC anything, and b) have certainly demonstrated that they will do anything and everything to squeeze an extra penny out of Fenway Park, so I would not be surprised at all to see the Sox look to host a college football game in the next two years without BC's participation, likely involving UConn or UMass.

In the not at all unlikely event that UConn and/or UMass end up hosting at Fenway in the next couple of  seasons, let's remember it was BC's own choice to pass up on a return engagement, due in large part I'm sure to vociferous feedback from some of the fanbase about the way last year went.

The other lingering question posed by this story is, should BC return to Fenway in the coming years, would they be better served having a local nonconference game there, or just trying to move a regular ACC game? Obviously, we would want to see any big name guests coming to town play at Alumni. But would Fenway spice up a game against a team like UConn, UMass, or Army? Or would you rather see that special event be used for a more significant ACC matchup?

Alternatively, should BC swear off playing at Fenway at all?

I don't have a strong opinion either way on that last question. I like fun and neat things, and I like BC getting publicity. But I also like regular home games, and I'm not the biggest fan of these special Fenway events, which I feel like are more than played out at this point. I'm curious as to what you all think.