How many things are still around that started in the 19th Century? Not many, but the Harvard Crimson football team is. The school played its first football game way back in 1874.
A lot has changed since then, and with the college football season quickly approaching, Harvard is gearing up for another season at historic Harvard Stadium.
While Massachusetts sports betting is legal, state gaming law does not allow bets on in-state college teams, unless they are playing in a tournament with four or more teams. That means that Massachusetts football fans can’t bet on Harvard games during the regular season, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a lot to look forward to.
Harvard Stadium is one of the most historic college football stadiums in the country.
If you plan on attending a game this fall, PlayMA has you covered.
This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about attending a Harvard football game at Harvard Stadium for the 2023-24 season.
Getting to Harvard Stadium
Harvard Stadium is located in Allston, a neighborhood just west of downtown Boston. More specifically, Harvard Stadium is located at 79 N Harvard St., Allston, MA 02134.
Luckily, arriving at Harvard Stadium is convenient no matter where you are coming from.
Here is a quick look at directions to Harvard Stadium from each point of the compass:
Driving from the West
Get on the Massachusetts Turnpike East to Exit 18 (Allston/Cambridge). Then turn right onto North Harvard Street.
From there, simply drive 1 mile down North Harvard Street, then take Soldiers Field Road which will lead you to the stadium.
Game day parking for football is marked at Gate 14. You must have a parking pass to enter.
Driving from the East
Harvard Stadium is a little less than 8 miles west of downtown Boston.
When driving to Harvard Stadium from downtown Boston, start by getting on I-90 W from Congress Street in Boston. Then, take Exit 131 from I-90 West.
From there, follow Cambridge St. and North Harvard St. to the stadium, which is clearly marked.
Driving from the South
When arriving from cities such as Providence, New Bedford or Newport, hop on I-95 North to I-93 North and follow I-93 to Exit 20 (Massachusetts Turnpike).
Drive west and take Exit 20 (Allston/Cambridge), but keep in mind that there will be a toll.
Then, turn right onto North Harvard Street as you enter campus. Follow Gate 14 signage to get to public parking for football (adjacent to Soldiers Field Road).
Driving from the North
When arriving from north of Harvard, you’ll want to take Interstate 93 South to the Storrow Drive exit.
You can then exit at Harvard Square/North Harvard Street. Turn left onto North Harvard Street, where you will see the entrance to Harvard Stadium.
Choose a public lot (parking pass will be necessary), or follow signs to commercial paid lots located within walking distance. More on that later.
Taking the bus
On the morning of Harvard home games, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority operates a bus line between its downtown Boston locations to Harvard Station.
For scheduling and ticket prices, visit the MBTA website.
Harvard Stadium parking
All Harvard Stadium parking lots open three hours prior to kick-off and close one hour following the end of the game.
Single-game parking tickets can be bought for $20 at Gate 8. The only form of payment accepted is a credit card.
Additional general admission parking is available at the Harvard Business School, but keep in mind that spots are limited.
Commercial vehicles such as U-Hauls, RVs, Winnebagos and trucks are not permitted in any parking facility for Harvard home football games.
The parking spaces near Harvard Stadium are limited. So, if you can’t find a spot right next to the stadium, you can navigate to a commercial lot that is within walking distance.
There are at least five parking lots within a half mile of the stadium:
- 438 Green Street, Central Square Parking Lot: 1 mile away — $12
- 45 University Road, University Place Garage: 0.5 mi away — $15
- 73 Bennett Street, Charles Square Garage: 0.5 mi away —$25
- 17 Holyoke Street, Smith Center Garage: 0.6 mi away — $25
- 41 Church Street: 0.6 mi away — $25
If you park in one of these lots, just remember to wear comfy, sturdy shoes for the walk to the stadium.
Gates to the stadium open 90 minutes prior to game time.
ADA accessible parking
Harvard University aims to meet the needs of all fans. To help fans have a better game day experience, ADA accessible parking is available for all Harvard home football games.
Just like general admission parking, ADA accessible parking access is available through Gate 8.
If you are wanting to utilize an accessible spot, you must have a valid state issued placard visible. You must also pay the game day parking rate at the gate, if applicable.
For more information regarding Harvard football game day parking, you can contact Sam Nunes at (617) 495-4950 or [email protected].
Tailgating at Harvard Stadium
Before the start of last season, Harvard University moved its tailgating location from Cumnock Field to the closed end of Harvard Stadium and McCurdy Track.
The move was done in an effort to enhance the pregame festivities and help create an electric atmosphere for Harvard fans on game day.
To access the new tailgating location, enter the Harvard Athletics complex through Gate 14, which is located on Soldiers Field Road.
You can also tailgate where you park. Visitors who park in the lots adjacent to Gates 8, 14, 16 and 20 are permitted to tailgate. However, no tailgating is permitted at the Harvard Business School parking lot.
Reserved tailgating at Harvard Stadium
In addition to public tailgating, private reserved tailgating options are available at Harvard Stadium. These hospitality packages are great for group outings.
For more information regarding reservations and pricing, you can send an email to [email protected], or call (617) 495-4950.
Harvard University is a great place to tailgate, but it’s important to remember there are still rules that must be followed.
If you plan on bringing a grill to your tailgate, keep in mind that charcoal grills are not allowed. The maximum propane gas cylinder size allowed is 20 pounds.
In addition, items that promote the rapid consumption of alcohol, such as beer kegs, are not permitted when tailgating at Harvard.
Tailgating can only take place before the game begins, as no tailgating is permitted during the game. In addition, no tailgating is permitted following night games.
When tailgating, do not block aisles, streets or other vehicles from parking.
All of these tailgating guidelines are strictly enforced by game day personnel.
Food at Harvard football games
Food is allowed when tailgating, and there are many restaurants on and near the Harvard University campus.
But if you want to eat at the game, there are plenty of concessions stands throughout the stadium.
The Crimson Pub, which is open as early as 60 minutes before kick-off and accessible from outside the stadium, offers typical pub fare. You can find burgers, nachos, chicken wings, burritos, fries, non-alcoholic drinks and much more.
Inside Harvard Stadium, you’ll find affordable options for the kids, like hot dogs and nachos, as well as kid-sized desserts and refreshments.
Two of the more popular options Philly Cheesesteaks, which are available near section 134, and pepperoni pizza, which is available near section 32 and section 7.
Harvard Stadium bag policy
You can bring bags into Harvard Stadium, so long as they abide by the stadium’s bag policy.
No item or bag or larger than 12″ x 12″x 12″ is allowed inside Harvard Stadium. In addition, no backpacks of any type are permitted inside the stadium.
You can eat outside the stadium while tailgating, but no outside food or drink is allowed to be brought in through the gates at Harvard Stadium.
Keep in mind that all persons, bags and personal items are subject to inspection by stadium personnel before entering Harvard Stadium.
What does it cost to see a game at Harvard Stadium?
Ticket prices for Harvard football games can vary depending on a variety of factors. Most notably, prices vary depending on the matchup and where your seat is located in the stadium.
According to TicketSmarter, the average price to see a game at Harvard Stadium is $52.70. That is well below the national average for a college football ticket, which is $175.
For lesser matchups, tickets can be found for $15. Seats around the 50-yard-line tend to be around $50 in the upper levels and $100 in the lower levels.
Rivalry games at Harvard Stadium will typically see an increase in ticket prices by at least 25-50%, according to TicketSmarter.
Bring the whole family
Here’s a breakdown of the cost for four people attending a Harvard football game at Harvard Stadium.
- Tickets: $255
- Parking: $45
- Food: $28 (four hot dogs)
- Beer: $13.50 (two 16-ounce)
- TOTAL: $341.50
Anyone with a Harvard ID (student or faculty) is entitled to two free tickets to every home game. Those tickets must be claimed at the Athletic Dept. Office.
For more ticketing information, contact the Harvard Athletics Ticket Office at (617) 495-2211.
Harvard Crimson football traditions
Traditions are what make college football games some of the best sporting events to see live and in person.
Harvard is home to several traditions that you will see when attending a game at Harvard Stadium.
Ten Thousand Men of Harvard
The unofficial fight song of Harvard, this tune was penned by an alum more than 100 years ago in 1918.
All incoming freshmen must learn the lyrics of the song, and every member of the football team is required to memorize the lyrics in both English and Latin.
After every home game, you can expect to hear “The Thousand Men of Harvard” sung on the field and in the stands.
The Harvard-Yale rivalry is the most intense rivalry in Ivy League football. It is simply known as “The Game.”
These two schools first met way back in 1875. Yale holds a 68-61-8 edge, and won last year’s meeting by a score of 19-14.
Harvard’s last win in “The Game” came back in 2021 with a 34-31 victory. The Crimson won an impressive nine games in a row against Yale from 2007-2015.
Today, Harvard may be primarily known for its academic prowess and membership as an Ivy League school. But it was once a football powerhouse.
From 1890 to 1919, the school won seven national championships.
This century, the Crimson have had success as well, capturing eight Ivy League titles from 2004-2015.
Fan etiquette at Harvard Stadium
When watching the Crimson play in person at Harvard Stadium, it is important to always cheer and celebrate in a responsible manner.
Always be respectful of those around you, even if they are cheering for the opposing team. Always use positive fan behavior and refrain from swearing, fighting, taunting or making obscene gestures.
This applies to all fans, students, faculty, players and attendees at a Harvard football game.
2023 Harvard Crimson home football schedule
- Sept. 16: St. Thomas – Minnesota
- Sept. 22: Brown
- Oct. 6: Cornell
- Oct. 14: Howard
- Oct. 28: Dartmouth
- Nov. 11: Pennsylvania