Sports Teams and Stadiums in Boston

The history of sports in Boston is long and storied. They’ve had such success with their professional sports teams (NHL, NBA, NFL, and MLB) that at least one of their teams has played in a championship game every decade since 1900 and since 2000 Boston’s professional teams have won six championships.

Boston Red Sox Fenway Park

The Boston Red Sox play in the American League Eastern Division of Major League Baseball and have done so since 1901. The Boston Red Sox were one of the original eight teams in the American League and were the champions of the first World Series in 1903. The team continued its strong start by winning four more championships before 1919. But then almost went 90 years without another win, until 2004 when they finally won another World Series. The unusual name of the Red Sox didn’t come about until 1908 and was originally the Boston Red Stockings, a reference to their socks. Stockings was shortened to Sox. Prior to this there was no official team nickname.

Since 1912 the ball club’s home park has been Fenway Park. Fenway Park is the oldest Major League Baseball stadium still in use. Baseball has once again become so popular in Boston that in 2008 Fenway Park broke a record for the most consecutive sold out games at 456. Remarkably the park has also seen some of the lowest lows with attendance at two games in 1965 each under 500. Although Fenway Park has been used by the Boston Red Sox since its creation it is hardly the same park that it was in 1912. But despite rumors to the contrary, the park continues to stand and will be the home of the Red Sox indefinitely.

New England Patriots Gillette Stadium

The New England Patriots belong to the American Football Conference in the National Football League. Originally dubbed the Boston Patriots the name changed in 1971 when the team moved their headquarters to just outside the Boston city limits. Until 2001 the New England Patriots only made two appearances in the Super Bowl and lost both of those chances at a championship. But the team redeemed itself in the years between 2001 and 2005 when it won three Super Bowl championships.

Back in 1970 when the Boston Patriots became the New England Patriot they moved to a new stadium in Foxborough Massachusetts. The original Foxboro Stadium was replaced in 2002 by the CMGI Field, later renamed Gillette Stadium, which seats a remarkable 68,756 people. The field originally sported natural turf but a rainstorm in 2006 deteriorated the grass enough that a game loss was blamed on the surface and so artificial grass, or FieldTurf, was installed and the team has seemed to thrive since.

Boston CelticsTD Banknorth Garden

When it comes to professional basketball the Boston Celtics do the city proud with their 17 NBA Championships, more than any other NBA franchise. Their biggest winning streak happened between 1957 to 1969 with 11 championships in that period. Unfortunately the team went through some rough times in the mid 1980s which continued until 2007. With their final championship win coming in 2008 the team appears to be headed toward another winning streak. In addition to their many wins, the Celtics made a notable contribution to the game and race relations in 1950 when they became the first franchise to draft and African American player, Chuck Cooper.

The Boston Celtics call TD Banknorth Garden or TD Garden home. TD Garden has had a variety of names over the years including Boston Garden, FleetCenter and Shawmut Center. When constructed the new stadium was to be located slightly north of the original Boston Garden, which meant only nine inches between the buildings. Although the Celtics call the center home it also several other sports teams and hosts a variety of events throughout the year.

Boston Bruins TD Banknorth Garden

The Boston Bruins have been part of the National Hockey League since 1924 when they became the first United States based expansion franchise. They are one of the Original Six and currently hold Stanley Cup championships, the second most for an American team. The name Bruin is an old English word which means brown bears and can be found in children’s folk tales. The first game, against the Montreal Maroons, was a win but the rest of the season was pretty much a bust, leaving them in last place. The team struggled but in its third season it proved itself by winning its first Stanley Cup.

The Boston Bruins spent much of its existence playing in the old Boston Garden, but once the TD Banknorth Garden was built, in 1995, they moved to their new digs. The TD Banknorth Garden is often referred to as simply the TD Garden and began construction in the early 1990s to replace Boston Garden, which had fallen into a state of disrepair and was in desperate need of either a huge renovation or a new center entirely. The new TD Garden opened in 1995 and not only serves as home to the Bruins and the Celtics but also hosts a wide variety of events throughout the year.

New England Revolution Gillette Stadium

The New England Revolution is Boston’s major league soccer team. Established in 1995 the Revolution, or the Revs, are the only time in the entire MLS that have had every one of their games broadcast on television. The team didn’t have a very good start and they didn’t experience a win in a major event until they beat FC Dallas in the 2007 U.S. Open Cup. Although they hadn’t had a win until then they had come close and appeared in major cup finals four times previously.

The New England Revolution plays in Gillette Stadium when at home and have since the arena was built. Prior to that they used the nearby Foxboro Stadium as their home base.

Boston Cannons Harvard Stadium

The Boston Cannons is the local professional men’s field lacrosse team. The team is fairly new having joined the Major League Lacrosse field in 2001. The team has undergone a change as they were originally in the American Division and in 2006 they switched to the Eastern Conference. In 2009 the economy hit MLL hard and the number of teams dropped from 10 to 6 so all of them will be playing in the same conference.

Harvard Stadium serves as home to the Boston Cannons since 2007. This field has a storied history as it was built in 1903 and was built for Harvard University’s football team in just under five months. The Boston Patriots used the field back in 1970 and several music performances have been held on the grounds, in fact it was Janis Joplin’s last live venue before her death. Harvard Stadium has the distinction of being the first permanent stadium for intercollegiate athletics in the United States.

Creative Commons License Photo credit: werkunz1

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