Brighton Field at Harrington Athletics Village – Boston College Eagles
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A Bright Future for The Eagles
From 1961 to 2017 the Boston College Eagles played their home baseball games at Commander John Shea Field, which was located in the shadows of Alumni Stadium. It was a totally nondescript home field, notable only for the presence of a large parking garage along the first base side of the field. Fans would line up along the ramps of the garage to take in the action below and tailgate throughout the game on the top level of the garage. When Boston College joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2006, Shea Field was deemed inadequate for hosting conference games and competing for recruits, making clear the need for a new home field. In 2016 Boston College set aside $200 million for various projects to benefit the athletic department, including a new baseball field to be located on the school’s Brighton campus.
Brighton Field, along with the adjacent softball field and intramural fields, are named for Boston College trustee and class of 1957 alumnus John L. Harrington. Boston baseball fans will recognize Harrington as the former CEO of the Red Sox. The stadium features Diamond Series AstroTurf to allow play during frigid New England Marches and Aprils, along with Musco LED lighting to allow for night games. The stadium is fully ADA accessible, and has heated dugouts and restrooms. Both the baseball and softball fields feature Daktronics scoreboards with full replay capability. The stadium is expandable to 2,500 seats for tournament play.
Brighton Field opened on March 20, 2018 with a 7-4 loss against Northeastern that lasted 18 innings.
Boston College has participated in the NCAA Tournament eight times, advancing to the College World Series on four occasions, most recently in 1967. Forty former Eagles have played in the major leagues.
Food & Beverage 3
There is a concession stand in the permanent building at Brighton Fields. It offers a basic menu, with a few surprises to be found. Hot dogs, burgers and assorted snacks anchor the menu. On cold New England afternoons, coffee and hot chocolate are popular items, as is the chili and clam chowder sold at this stand. Fans looking for cold beverages can choose from several Coca-Cola products. Alcohol is not served at this on-campus facility.
The gameday presentation at Brighton Fields is a laid-back one, which will certainly appeal to traditional fans. Extraneous noise is kept to a minimum here, with music played between innings and batters, and PA announcements kept to basic lineup and game announcements. Fans looking for an elaborate presentation should look elsewhere. The Eagles mascot, Baldwin, can be found here during selected games interacting with the fans.
Boston College is located in Chestnut Hill, a village in the suburb of Newton, Massachusetts. Downtown Boston is located about six miles to the east. Newton is a very well-to-do town which frequently ranks near the top of many “best place to live in America” lists.
Brighton Fields are not located on the main Boston College campus, but in the nearby Brighton campus, on the site of St. John’s Seminary, about a half mile from the main campus.
For visiting fans looking for a bite to eat before or after an Eagles baseball game, Cleveland Circle is located about a 15 minute walk from the BC campus. Here you will find, among other places, Eagle’s Deli, which is known for its massive hamburger challenges. This no-frills diner is a favorite of Boston College students and is known for its appearances on Man vs. Food and other television shows.
As is the case in most towns around Boston, streets in this area are frequently congested and busy, so be careful navigating the area around campus. If the weather is cooperating, check out the Chestnut Hill Reservoir right behind Alumni Stadium. It’s a favorite place for walkers and joggers, and there isn’t a nicer spot to be in the fall or spring. From the shores of the reservoir you get a view of downtown Boston in the distance. If visiting Boston College from out of town, these tall buildings are where you want to head.
For the most part, college baseball isn’t a very big deal in New England. The weather during this time of year tends to keep crowds small. Boston College is no exception to this rule, although they do attract bigger crowds than most local squads.
Crowds at Brighton Fields can be categorized as a “friends and family” type of crowd, ranging in size from about 250-400 fans. The dedication ceremony held on a frigid April Saturday afternoon in 2018 did draw over 1,300 fans, which is a number unheard of over at Shea Field. Fans in attendance generally have a connection with the players on the field, and are enthusiastic about the action taking place.
The Boston College campus is located in the Chestnut Hill section of the suburb of Newton, Massachusetts, about six miles west of downtown Boston. Despite its location in the suburbs, Boston College shares many of the same access issues familiar to Boston residents. Anyone who has tried to navigate the crowded, crooked streets of greater Boston by car can tell you how difficult driving in and around the area can be. If you are visiting from out of town, your best bet is to find a copilot who knows their way around town.
Most native Bostonians will tell you that your best method to get to Boston College is to take public transportation, known in these parts as the “T”. The green line’s B train terminus is located on Commonwealth Ave., right across the street from the Chestnut Hill campus. From here, it is about a mile walk along Lake Street to Brighton Fields. The Green Line’s C train stops at Cleveland Circle, a 15 minute walk from campus. The Green Line’s D train stops at Reservoir Station, and Boston College operates free shuttle busses that pick up riders from that station, as well as several other points around town. The complete route schedule can be viewed here.
If heading to an Eagles baseball game, driving may actually be the easiest way to get to Brighton Fields. The best route to arrive at Boston College avoids Boston entirely. Take exit 24 (Commonwealth Ave.-Route 30) off of Interstate 95 (also known as Route 128). Follow Commonwealth Avenue for about 5 miles, and you will find the Boston College campus on your right. After a U-Turn, take a right onto the Brighton campus. Complete driving directions can be found here. The area around Boston College is quite scenic, with a suburban feel, but traffic can be very heavy at times. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive on campus.
Once inside Harrington Athletic Village, fans will enter onto a plaza along the first base line of the softball field. To your right will be a building that contains the concession stand and restrooms. The heated restrooms are most appreciated during frigid spring days. Beyond this is the baseball field. The plaza runs along the top of the seating bowl which runs from third base to shallow right field. All seats consist of individual maroon stadium seats. There is ample standing room along the top of the seating bowl, as well as accessible seating. With plenty of room to move around, crowds are not an issue at Brighton Fields.
Return on Investment 4
Admission and parking at Brighton Fields is free of charge. Concessions here are a bit pricey, but fans can avoid these charges by simply bringing their own refreshments into the ballpark.
The Eagles played in the longest game in NCAA history, a 25-inning tilt against the Texas Longhorns in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. The Eagles dropped this contest 3-2 in seven hours, three minutes.
There are a couple of numbers honored on the right field fence. Longtime Eagles coach Eddie Pellagrini’s number 13 is retired, as is the number 3 worn by Pete Frates. Frates, who was an outfielder for Boston College from 2004-2007, gained international exposure when his social media fundraiser, the Ice Bucket Challenge, raised over $200 million for ALS research in the summer of 2014. Boston College plays an annual game at Fenway Park in Frates’ honor to help raise awareness for ALS research every spring.
A final extra point for the program’s efforts at upgrading their facilities, and making it affordable for Eagles fans, with free parking, admission and programs.
If planning to visit Boston College for a baseball game, remember that the college baseball season runs through March and April, when the weather in these parts can be most unpredictable. Postponements, schedule changes, and even changes in venue are a regular occurrence in these parts. Be sure to be flexible with your plans when visiting Chestnut Hill.
Brighton Fields was built to help Boston College improve the stature of their baseball program, compete with the larger programs in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and to aid in recruiting and training. Returns are still early, but they appear to have hit this one out of the park. This is already one of the finer collegiate baseball facilities in all of New England.
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320 Washington St.
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AC Hotel by Marriot Boston Cleveland Circle
395 Chestnut Hill Ave.
Boston, MA 02135
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Brighton Field at Harrington Athletics Village
129 Lake St.
Brighton, MA 02135
Year Opened: 2018