Football at Fenway (Um… Soccer, that is.)

America’s most beloved ballpark turning hockey barn might have run a chill down your spine when Fenway froze over on New Year’s Day when the Bruins took on the Philadelphia Flyers during the NHL Winter Classic.

Now, the globe’s most beloved sport will get a chance to play at Fenway.


 On July 21, Fenway Park will once again turn the sports community on its head, hosting its first soccer match since 1968 when Scotland’s Celtic Football Club takes on Portugal’s Sporting Clube de Portugal at 8PM on July 21—10 days after the end of the upcoming World Cup. (And while the Sox are away.)

According to Christopher Klein, author of The Die-Hard Sports Fan’s Guide to Boston: A Spectator’s Handbook, Fenway Park has been the short-term home to an array of unconventional sub-letters during its illustrious history. In addition to hockey, basketball, and college and professional football, Fenway has seen soccer fans before. The July 21st match will be the 19th soccer game played at Fenway Park. The last one came on July 9, 1968, when the Boston Beacons faced soccer legend Pele and his Brazilian club, Santos F.C.

This will not be Celtic’s first trip to Fenway. In 1931, eight thousand fans in Fenway cheered on another set of Yankees (gulp)—this time the New York Yankees of the American Soccer League as they defeated Celtic. “Incidentally, Yankees goalkeeper Johnny Reder took the field for Fenway’s boys of summer when he joined the Red Sox the following year,” says Klein.

Tickets will cost between $20 and $120. One goal will be in front of the third-base dugout and the other will be in front of the bullpens, so much of the infield will be covered by a temporary pitch. Fans should get a better view of the action during the Fenway Football Classic than they did during the Winter Classic. The smaller size of the rink and its elevation above the ground made it difficult to see the action from Fenway’s low-slung stands. No such problem this time around.

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