Boston College to play Notre Dame at Fenway Park

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As part of the Notre Dame football program’s Shamrock Series in which the Fighting Irish take on opponents at non-traditional neutral sites, Fenway Park will play host to a game between the Irish and Boston College.

The Boston Globe was the first to report the possibility, but shortly after, several media outlets reported that Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick and Fenway Sports Management confirmed that the game would indeed be played at the home of the Boston Red Sox on Nov. 21, 2015. While the game will be played in the Eagles’ backyard, the Irish would technically be the home team.

“The City of Boston will be ready to welcome Fighting Irish and Eagles fans alike when Fenway brings this historic rivalry to one of our most beloved landmarks in 2015,” Mayor Thomas M. Menino said in a statement from the Red Sox. “I’m looking forward to a memorable weekend that puts Boston, and all the great things our city has to offer, in the national spotlight.”

Fenway Park would be by far the smallest venue in which a Shamrock Series game has been played. Attendance has never been less than 52,000 fans for any of the five contests and the 2014 venue, Lucas Oil Stadium in Indanapolis, Ind., seats more than 62,000. A total of 44,500 people showed up to watch the Eagles and the Irish in 2012 and Fenway Park seats approximately 35,000. Boston College averaged approximately 33,000 fans at its home games, including more than 40,000 against Florida State.

In recent years, however, Fenway Park has become a popular venue for non-baseball related events, including Frozen Fenway, which features college and high school hockey, as well as community skating events. This year, Boston College and Notre Dame will face off in one of the outdoor games, marking the first time the two squads have played against each other as conference opponents. The 2013-2014 season marks Notre Dame’s first season in Hockey East, joining the league after the Central Collegiate Hockey Association folded. Boston College beat Notre Dame in 2008 to win the National Championship. They most recently played last season on Nov. 9, 2012, a game also won by the Eagles.

On the gridiron, Notre Dame and Boston College’s series dates back to 1975, however, they did not start playing each other regularly until the early 1990s. They played three times prior to the 90s – twice in the regular season (1975, 1987) and once in the Liberty Bowl in 1983 when the Irish bested Doug Flutie and the Eagles.

The Eagles and the Irish played 13 consecutive years from 1992 through 2004, then continued its annual series from 2007 to 2012.

Overall, the Irish have the advantage in the series, 13-9. After winning six-straight years and seven out of eight, the Eagles have dropped their last four games against Notre Dame, including 2012, when the Irish defeated them on their way to an undefeated season.

The 2015 season marks the first year Notre Dame and Boston College are scheduled to play each other since the hiatus. They are also slated to play in 2018.

Notre Dame is 5-0 in Shamrock Series games.

Photo: Notre Dame and Boston College warm up prior to their game at Alumni Stadium in 2010. (Credit: Chris Maza/New England Sports Journal)

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