Two weeks before the much-anticipated Yale-Harvard Game at Fenway Park, both universities have finalized the policies and programming that will transpire during the weekend of The Game.
Hosting the football game in a new location for the first time since 1912 has posed logistical challenges for both schools. Notably, Yale was allotted 500 fewer tickets to its students because of Fenway’s reduced seating area, which resulted in hourlong lines last week as undergraduates scrambled to purchase one of the limited tickets.
Two weeks ago, in an email to the campus community, Dean of Student Affairs Camille Lizarríbar announced that — though some programming for the football game was still being ironed out — Harvard was finalizing details for the student tailgate.
“Each year, we work closely with our colleagues at Harvard to create a plan that allows our respective students to partake in the festivities surrounding The Game in a way that promotes both student safety and school spirit,” Senior Associate Athletic Director Andy Dunn told the News.
Assistant Director of Harvard Athletics Nick Majocha said that three organized events will take place before The Game. He preferred not to use the term tailgate, because he said in its traditional sense, tailgating involves pulling up a car and having a barbeque. Though the Yale-Harvard social events will retain most aspects of a traditional tailgate, Majocha noted that participants will not be able to park their cars directly inside the gathering area.
The first social event will take place in the plaza outside Harvard’s Science Center, near the location where busses will depart to Fenway starting at 9 a.m. At this first event, food and drinks will be offered free of charge, Majocha said.
Additionally, two gatherings — which will begin at 10 a.m. and run until kickoff — will be hosted on either side of the ballpark. One will be open to the general public while the other will welcome only undergraduates that show a Yale or Harvard ID. Both will feature music, free food such as pizza and hot dogs, free non-alcoholic beverages and alcoholic beverages available for purchase for those who are 21 years or older.
No outside alcohol will be allowed inside the designated gathering spaces, according to Majocha. He noted that because Fenway has an exclusive concessions deal with Aramark, they must distribute all alcoholic beverages at the two events.
The decision to host tailgating events next to Fenway has been met with frustration from members of the Harvard community. More than 700 Harvard students and affiliates signed the “Save the Game 2018” petition, calling on the athletics department to hold the tailgate in the athletics complex, where it has traditionally taken place. The petition urges the department to preserve the “all inclusive atmosphere of enthusiastic school spirit” that the tailgate has traditionally harbored.
Before the game, Yale and Harvard students will be able to mingle in a campuswide social Friday night. The event has been pushed back and will now run from 11 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
For students planning to travel to Boston, buses will shuttle between New Haven and Harvard, with tickets available for purchase online for $23 each way. Dunn told the News that waves of busses will depart from Payne Whitney every 30 minutes on Friday, Nov. 16 beginning at 2 p.m. and ending at 4 p.m. Return buses will depart from Fenway immediately after The Game at 5 p.m.
Once in Cambridge, undergraduate Yale students may opt to sleep in one of the 12 Harvard houses on Friday night where they can eat late-night food on Friday and breakfast on Saturday morning, the day of The Game.
Yale will face Harvard in the 135th edition of The Game at Fenway on Nov. 17.
Lorenzo Arvanitis | firstname.lastname@example.org .