Get off our lawn: Sox owners again engaging in world’s oldest profession

Tickets were still available less than 24 hours before Wednesday night’s soccer match at Fenway Park between two European soccer clubs you have never heard of before.

It is encouraging to see demand stagnate—even just a little bit—for such a contrived event.

Understand: this isn’t about the presence of a sport other than baseball being played at Fenway Park. (There’s probably been, like, other sporting events hosted at Fenway over the last 100 years or so…Someone oughta make a list.)

But the excessive whoring out of Fenway over the last five years speaks to a new sort of organizational arrogance that John Henry and Co. has established in the Back Bay. Even Scott Brown can see that the current ownership group routinely engages in thinly veiled prostitution of what should be treated as a sacred asset.

Thanks to the immense success, high revenues and national interest generated by their baseball team, these owners assume people should be willing to pay to witness just about anything that takes place on the hallowed Fenway grounds.

Piggybacking on the popularity of the 2010 World Cup, Wednesday night’s soccer match was aimed at striking before the sport’s popularity goes into hibernation for another four years. The only problem is that this particular pairing of two minor league soccer clubs would be like the Portland Sea Dogs taking batting practice in Wembley Stadium. It is an insult to fan intelligence disguised as something other than a recycled idea.

This isn’t a new trend by any means. Lately, the owners have been overplaying their hand when it comes to extracurricular entertainment. Fenway has gone from hosting hall-of-fame acts like Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and the Rolling Stones to shows from the likes of Phish and Jimmy Buffet. At least there’s the local angle for next month’s Aerosmith / J. Geils Band bill.

Sure, all the aforementioned bands are washed up. But at least the first two carried some small semblance of Beatles in Shea Stadium cache. It’s just embarrassing when the outfield gets chewed up because the organization books some overrated act that peaked in the mid-1990s (Dave Matthews Band). In 2025, are we going to be watching commercials advertising “classic rock sensation” Kings of Leon: Live at Fenway Park?

Fine, it’s just a soccer match. The Red Sox owners certainly deserve every bit of praise they have received for all their renovations and updates that creatively keep a landmark alive and profitable, to boot.

Some of these extracurricular events at Fenway are a necessary evil in order to stay profitable. We should all tolerate the various “initiatives” that transform portions of Yawkey Way and its surroundings into a cross between a country fair and a de facto amusement park absent the Ferris Wheel (for now…). After all, Boston’s provincial vice-grip on the past will never come cheap.

One can’t help but wonder, though: How many blatant money-grabs are too many blatant money-grabs?

Even after his father reached ill health, Ted Williams’ son exploited his father’s legacy, imploring him to make appearance after appearance at various events, insisting he sign autographs for significant fees. It was a sickening revelation to many that was brought to light after the fact because his son’s selfishness before and after his father’s death was excessive enough that Ted’s well-being was undoubtedly jeopardized.

This space isn’t accusing the Henry ownership group of anything that perverse yet. After all, John Henry bagged a trophy wife all his own last summer. Some point soon, maybe he’ll be compelled to stop cultivating another.

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8 responses to “Get off our lawn: Sox owners again engaging in world’s oldest profession

  1. Two minor league soccer clubs? Celtic? Sporting? Dude, take 30 seconds to do some research before you write something. Oh, and stop crying, the game was great, people there had fun.

  2. What the first guy said.

  3. You’re being ridiculous. Sporting and Celtic are both in their respective nations premierships. Yankee Stadium is hosting a friggin Rutgers/Navy football game for crying out loud. Talk about minor league! It’s not that big of a deal.

  4. What a laugh!! Glasgow Celtic are massive with world wide appeal. The Red Sox are not even close in significance on a global scale. 32,000 people show up to watch a preseason friendly in the United States. Don’t get me wrong the Red Sox are a fine tradition as is Fenway but we need to be clear on the reality of the situation. Interesting to see the development of Major League Soccer after only 14 yrs where will it be in the next 50yrs let alone a 100 yrs that baseball has had in america. Think about it!!

  5. Ed M. happy retiree, Waterbury Ct.

    A lot of greedy owners would have abandoned Fenway park for suburban digs to make a big bucks killing with a new stadium built at taxpayer expense. It takes class and lots of money to run a facility as elderly as fenway. Red Sox fans should not Whine If having Ice Hockey Bruins-winter games and first class soccer clubs play there when the Red Sox are out of town or off season.This is a wonderful use of an empty stadium which is Unused for weeks or months at a time. Would you rather have the taxpayers abandon Fenway facilities like Rosenblatt stadium-Omaha Neb. or Old Yankee stadium for new digs. I guarantee you a new Red Sox stadium would not be located in Boston’s city limits. The Red Sox play 82-90 games a year. More revenue means the owners are far less likely to abandon Fenway for a taxpayer funded cash cow as Omaha Neb. and the Yankees have done

  6. If it was your goal to try and get a response out of people, you completed your goal.

    Just because you got a response out of people, doesn’t mean you’re right though. The first major flaw is calling Celtic and Sporting of Portugal minor league Football clubs. You know, because both sides had National Team players for their countries and both play in the top league in their respective countries. I’m sorry they couldn’t get EPL teams to come play in Fenway, but Celtic and Sporting are both really good football clubs.

    Second of all, you’re missing the point of having an ownership group that actually cares about the facility. Would you rather them not care, have it waste away for weeks at a time, have it lose money and then have the Henry ownership group sell off the ball-park to the highest bidder? I’m sure you were one of those people who said no to new Fenway, but you know why that almost happened? Because the ownership stopped giving a shit about the ball-park and it lost money. What’s wrong with having Fenway be a multi-purpose facility? It wasn’t a problem when BC and the Patriots played their back in the day. Why is it a problem to host a soccer game or a concert and increase the value of one of the most important buildings in the city of Boston?

    I didn’t see anyone making a big deal when the Bruins played the Winter classic there or their were concerts at Fenway, but all of a sudden there is a soccer game and Fenway is being whored out. You’re not going to like every event that Fenway hosts, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing.

    ~Benti, bostonsbettah.com

  7. Dude, You sound all these ignortant anti-soccer people. Do some research! and stop bashing the sport. Now about the whoring out of Fenway park. SO F**KING WHAT!, now go take a nap : )

  8. Pierre A. Tedd

    You misspelled Buffett. (there are 2 t’s in Jimmy Buffett’s name, you clod) Furthermore, Jimmy is not in the Rock Hall Of Fame (as you noted), because of the clearly apparent bias of Jann Wenner (who is not even a musician!), who strong arms control of the nomination process. How can you win if they won’t let you be nominated? Get your head out of your ass and go watch a baseball game, which is all you may be qualified to comment on. I will give you credit for allowing me to call you an idiot.

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