A Lapse in Tradition

While we accept that the Game will be played at Fenway in 2018, we hope that Harvard Athletics can clarify their rationale for breaking tradition by moving this single Game.

This past week, it was announced that the 135th iteration of The Game, the historic football matchup between arch-rivals Harvard and Yale, will be played at Fenway Park rather than the Harvard Stadium. Though the venue of a football game may seem triflingly unimportant, the rich history that imbues the Harvard-Yale matchup gives weight to every single aspect of the tradition. After all, the Harvard Stadium is in the National Registry of Historic Places and it will be the first time in over a century that The Game is played in a venue other than the Yale Bowl or Harvard Stadium.

Though we accept that this move is set in stone, we still feel that its underlying rationale is somewhat confusing. The Harvard football team will play every other home game next season at the Harvard Stadium, but during The Game it will be inspected in design and engineering studies “to help inform future stadium improvements” to the end of increased accessibility, office space, and reparations. Though we wholeheartedly acknowledge the merit of these goals, we remain curious as to why the Athletics Department scheduled this assessment to coincide with the most important annual event that the stadium hosts. Additional clarification would help all attendants of The Game next year appreciate the rationale behind the move. Regardless, we commend them for booking a locally and nationally iconic venue; among all the options in the Greater Boston area, it is likely the most suited for The Game.

Nevertheless, now that the choice has been made, the Athletics Department and Harvard as a whole must cope with the logistical hurdles that the relocation will present. For one, many students look forward to the pregame tailgates in the ample lots that border Harvard Stadium. Downtown Boston is lamentably not nearly as conducive to this sort of activity. A possible solution would be for shuttles to be provided from the tailgating areas to Fenway Park—a mere three mile drive—so that students can have the same experience. However, as we have mentioned in the past, students can have trouble making it into into the stadium even when it is immediately next to the tailgate, so we are concerned that this move will only further suppress attendance.

Moreover, Harvard must not resort to cutting corners elsewhere—especially in matters of student safety and well-being—due to the additional logistical headaches and costs produced by the relocation of The Game, especially when Yale made an active effort to make The Game safer this year. For one, the offering of a substantial breakfast to both Harvard and Yale students would help to encourage safe drinking. Similarly, the expense of The Game should be kept constant for students.

Though there remain questions to be answered, we are as excited for The Game as any normal year. Indeed, no matter the venue, we are exhilarated by the prospect of a Harvard beatdown of Yale.

This staff editorial solely represents the majority view of The Crimson Editorial Board. It is the product of discussions at regular Editorial Board meetings. In order to ensure the impartiality of our journalism, Crimson editors who choose to opine and vote at these meetings are not involved in the reporting of articles on similar topics.

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