Notre Dame will play Boston College at Fenway Park in 2015, the first American football game under the shadow of the Green Monster since 1968. Squeezing a football field into a baseball stadium isn't an easy endeavor, but Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick doesn't foresee a Wrigley Field debacle materializing for the game.
"It'll be tight," Swarbrick said. "It's hard to be in a baseball stadium and not have it be difficult. But we wouldn't do it if we thought there was any risk for the safety of the players."
In 2010, Northwestern and Illinois squared off at Wrigley Field but could only use one end zone (though Northwestern will return to Wrigley for five football games in the future). If the dimensions of the field at Fenway Park are similar to the soccer configuration for when Liverpool faced Roma there in 2012, the corner of the left field end zone may come close to a low wall.
Swarbrick, though, said Notre Dame has been careful with space in baseball stadiums in the past. When Notre Dame was scouting Yankee Stadium for its 2010 Shamrock Series game against Army, Swarbrick said he "drove (the Yankees) crazy" trying to make sure a football field could fit.
Beyond the challenge of fitting a football field into Fenway Park, there's the difficulty of maximizing revenue for a stadium that only seats 37,400 fans. That's a reduction of about 44,000 fans for a Notre Dame home game and between 30,000-35,000 fans for Notre Dame's other two scheduled Shamrock Series games at Lucas Oil Stadium and the Alamodome.
While Swarbrick wasn't sure what ticket prices would look like, it's apparent that fans will have to shell out plenty of cash if he or she wants a seat at Fenway Park on Nov. 21, 2015.
"It's not a challenge, it's an opportunity to have a to have a standard setting ticket price," Swarbrick said. "That's the reality of of going to a smaller venue, a special venue, one of the great venues in America. To make the game work economically with that many seats, it will be a premium ticket price."