According to a report in the Boston Globe, Boston College and Notre Dame may play the next installment of the "Holy War" football series at Fenway Park. A source familiar with the negotiations told the Globe's Nick Cafardo that the Fenway Sports Group is working with the schools to bring the 2015 BC-Notre Dame football game to Fenway.
Previously, there were rumors that the Eagles and Irish were taking the "Holy War" overseas to Ireland. Now the focus appears to be on Fenway Park.
Boston College and Notre Dame are next scheduled to play in 2015 as part of the ACC's scheduling agreement with the Irish. That game is scheduled as a Notre Dame home game. In 2015, Clemson, Pittsburgh and Virginia will play host to the Irish, with Notre Dame hosting Boston College, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest. Outside of Notre Dame's five game ACC slate, the Irish are tentatively scheduled to face UMass, Texas, Navy and USC at home and play at Stanford in 2015.
In addition to Notre Dame, the Eagles currently have 2015 non-conference games scheduled with Army, Buffalo, New Mexico State and Elon but will need to drop a opponent -- likely New Mexico State -- to get back to 12 games. Boston College will host Florida State, N.C. State, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest in ACC play, while traveling to Clemson, Duke, Louisville and Syracuse.
The question of whether or not this will work out in BC's favor hinges on what becomes of the next scheduled Boston College-Notre Dame game beyond 2015.
Should Notre Dame move its home game with the Eagles from South Bend to Back Bay, what becomes of BC's next scheduled game with the Irish over the next ACC schedule rotation (2017-2019)? If Notre Dame wants to move its home game with BC to Fenway as part of the program's Shamrock Series, that's reasonable. But if the Fenway Park game replaces a Boston College home game at Alumni Stadium over the next ACC-Notre Dame scheduling cycle, this is officially the worst ... short of losing a Boston College-Notre Dame Alumni Stadium home game to another country, I guess.
The novelty of college football games played at MLB ballparks has seemingly worn off in recent years (Yankee Stadium, AT&T Park, The Trop), but this feels a bit different. College football's return to Fenway Park would be a cool hat tip to the program's history and may even generate some national buzz if both programs are good. If fans have to wait until 2020 or later for the next Alumni Stadium home game vs. Notre Dame, though, this won't have been worth it.
The Eagles have played at Fenway Park 76 times in school history, but none as recently as 1956. Following the 1956 season, the school was informed that football games would no longer be played at Fenway Park. Boston College briefly considered dropping the sport before President Joseph R. N. Maxwell, S.J. announced the decision to build a new stadium on campus on January 23, 1957.
Notre Dame leads the all-time series with Boston College 13-9, having won four straight including last year's meeting in Chestnut Hill. The Eagles rattled off six straight wins from 2001-2008 to draw even with the Irish in the all-time series at 9-9.
The two schools' men's hockey programs will face off at America's Most Beloved Ballpark on January 4, 2014 as part of this year's Frozen Fenway event.
Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick is set to release the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Irish football schedules at a news conference on Friday morning. The ACC's five-game deal with the Irish has already been modified, as Wake Forest has agreed to shift a 2014 date to the 2015 schedule. As a result, Notre Dame's five games-per-year agreement with the ACC will actually include just four games in 2014 and six in 2015.