The Shamrock Series will take Notre Dame into a baseball stadium for the second time in 2015 with the Irish officially set to square off against rival Boston College in Fenway Park on November 21, 2015 for the first football game in Fenway Park since 1968.
Jack Swarbrick faced a daunting task in crafting the Notre Dame football schedules for the next few years with Notre Dame’s 5-game a year commitment to the ACC, but Savvy Jack showed just how savvy he is with the schedules he rolled out and the Shamrock Series game in 2015 is a prime example of that. By making the Boston College game the Shamrock Series game for 2015, he was able to fit in 6 ACC opponents for 2015 to make up for only being able to fit in 4 in 2014 due to previous commitments.
Aside from the Boston College game helping Notre Dame meet its ACC requirements, it also gives Notre Dame fans one hell of a fun road trip. Notre Dame has played in the Boston area many times against Boston College, but Chestnut Hill isn’t quite Boston and there aren’t many more areas of Boston as fun as the Fenway area. So Irish fans can make a weekend trip to Boston, see Notre dame play in a historic venue, and be in one of the most fun areas of one of the most fun cities in America.
Well done, Jack. Very well done.
Notre Dame’s trip to Yankee Stadium in 2010 was a huge hit with Notre Dame fans and opened the door for more games inside the home of the Yankees. Notre Dame did it’s homework back then to make sure the stadium could accommodate a football game without compromising player safety – something that wasn’t done quite as well when the Big Ten scheduled a game in Wrigley Field shortly after. Notre Dame did the same again this time around to ensure that the game could be played without having any safety concerns or having to do something as silly as making each offense go the same way every time because one of the endzones created safety concerns.
Swarbrick was also able to turn a game that generally doesn’t garner too much national attention outside of the Notre Dame and Boston College fan bases and turn it into an event that will generate a ton of buzz for both programs. The ESPNs and Sports Illustrateds of the world will be talking about the first football game to be played in Fenway Park in the weeks leading up to the game generating a lot of publicity.
Shamrock Series games for both 2014 and 2016 were announced yesterday as well. Next year the Irish will make the short trip to Indianapolis to face rival Purdue at Lucas Oil Stadium in week 3 of the season. In 2016, Notre Dame will return to the site of the first Shamrock Series game in 2009 by playing Army in the Alamodome. Neither game carries quite the cachet of playing in Fenway Park, but the Army will give Notre Dame two games in the state of Texas – an area the Irish would love to establish more of a recruiting presence – in 2016.
Regardless of what any fans may think of the Shamrock Series games in 2014 and 2016 though, there’s no way any Notre Dame fan can’t be excited about the Irish playing in Fenway in 2015. I, for one, know that there’s no other place that I will be on November 21, 2015 than Fenway Park perhaps singing Sweet Caroline after the 1812 Overture between the 3rd and 4th quarter.