An Insider’s Guide to Parking near Fenway Park on Game Days
Heading to your first Sox game in a while? Don't forget to plan ahead on how to get there.
The fans are back at Fenway. And, unfortunately, so are Sox fans’ cars. As the park resumes 100 percent capacity games, it has once again become imperative that you plan ahead on how to get from your door to the grandstand.
So in case you’re heading to the park this summer, or it’s been a while since your last Sox game, or you’ve forgotten the myriad obstacles to parking your car near the beloved stadium, here are some insider tips to keep in mind.
Take the T
We’ll scream it from the top of the Green Monster: If you can avoid driving at all, do it. You’ll save money, you’ll skip the traffic, and perhaps best of all, you can join in on the wild afterparty that is the post-game MBTA packed with rowdy Sox fans. Plus the Kenmore stop is right there. What do you have to lose?
Don’t circle the block
Many fans do decide to drive, however. If you do, don’t fall into the trap that has ensnared many a Fenway visitor: showing up without a plan, and circling the block to look for a great deal on a great spot near the park. On game day, you’re much less likely to find your white whale, and much more likely to end up wasting time in traffic—clogging up the streets as you try to beat the system along with all the other drivers. Also, bear in mind that in the rapidly-changing neighborhood, construction often leads to road closures, which can make scoring a spot on the fly even more of a headache. Long story short, take what you can get, and park in the first lot you see.
Don’t take a resident spot
Think you can get away with parking in a space reserved for residents? It’s not worth it. Parking enforcement is aggressive in the area, and since 2015, the fine for parking in a resident-only spot on game day has been jacked up to $100. So you might just end up paying for the most expensive parking of all.
Be prepared: Lots near Fenway are getting pricier again
If you got a fantastic deal at a Sox game in the past year, the times they are a changin’. When the capacity limits at Fenway were set at 12, and then 25, percent, demand for spaces near the ballpark was much lower. So were prices, with some of the more convenient lots offering access for as little as $30. Price have started ticking back up again to around $45. All signs point to prices continuing to climb over the summer.
Use one of the Fenway-affiliated garages
Fenway Park has three partner garages: 100 Clarendon, Ipswich, and Prudential. Tickets on game day get you a discount, and there tends to be ample parking available, as they cumulatively can fit more than 4,000 cars. Fenway top brass suggest you use the ParkWhiz app to book a spot. The only catch is all three are a somewhat significant distance away from the park. So you’ll have to walk—a lovely option on a warm summer night—or hop on a train to get the rest of the way.
Try some of the other lots
Given Fenway’s central location, it’s surrounded by lots of varying size, price, and distance from the park. Apps like SpotHero and Parkopedia can help you get the lay of the land, and often features options for less than $20. Some of the cheapest and largest lots around are the MFA parking lot or the Somerset Garage on Newbury.
Look in the right areas for metered parking
Again, willingness to walk is crucial here, and the more time you spend tooling around looking for open spots the less time you spend, you know, enjoying yourself. But if you’re willing to walk, it’s often possible to snag a space in, say, Back Bay, or near the BU or Northeastern campuses. Bear in mind that most meters have a two-hour time limit, but also remember that parking is free after 8 p.m., as well as on Sundays and city holidays. As always when parking on the street in Boston, be sure to read all the signs closely.
Beware the day games
Parking is a lot harder to come by during games on weekdays. For one thing, the official Red Sox lots are no longer available at the discounted rate, which is only offered on nights and weekends. Also, many of the lots that can usually accommodate fans are instead put to other uses, such as parking for the Longwood Medical Area. If there is ever a time to park far away from Fenway and take public transportation, it’s during day games.
Book a spot ahead of time
Whichever lot you choose, do yourself a favor and reserve your spot ahead of time. You’ll know exactly where you’re going, and be assured you have a spot waiting when you get there. The Fenway partner lots offer pre-booking via ParkWhiz. You can also try apps like SpotHero, which can be used to snag a paid spot. Don’t wait: You’ll get a better rate and have more options to choose from if you plan ahead and book a spot a couple weeks in advance.
Get there early
Speaking of thinking ahead, Fenway regulars will tell you getting there early can be half the battle. Arrive, say, two hours early and you’ll find the pre-game traffic has yet to materialize, and lots have yet to fill, meaning you’re on a glide path to the ballpark. Fenway opens its gates 90 minutes before the first pitch, so show up then if you’d like. Or, avail yourself of one of the many fantastic bars and restaurants in the neighborhood, and reap the early bird’s rewards.
Post-game beers or bites to eat is a time-honored strategy to steer clear of crowds, and we can’t recommend it enough. Also, if you parked close to the stadium and stayed until the last out, you’ll have to share the streets with other fans on foot and may face some significant delays, so why push it?
Ride a bike
A hot tip for Sox fan cyclists out there: It’s incredibly convenient to bike to Fenway. Beginning on June 7, the park will resume its bike valet service on game days. Fenway staff can store as many as 60 bikes at a time in its secure storage space. It’s like a coat check for your bike. And best of all, it’s totally free.
You can also hop on a Bluebike, and make use of one of the service’s ten docking stations within walking distance of the park, with a total of 182 slots available. The stations can occasionally fill up during games, so be sure to keep an eye on how many slots are available via the Bluebikes app. If things ever get too busy, Lyft (which operates the city’s Bluebikes program) has a bike valet program of its own it can activate.
Take an Uber or Lyft
As you may have heard, there’s a ride-share shortage afoot right now. So call an Uber or Lyft at your own risk. But if you do opt for ride-sharing, heed the designated pick-up and drop-off locations for the service, which can be found on Boylston and Beacon streets.
Best of luck, bon voyage, play ball.