Tag Archives: pre-paid parking at fenway
Posted by Kurt Smith
Even though I’m known for recommending that you take the T to Fenway, I’m still here to help if you want to drive and park. This Fenway Park parking guide will help you find an affordable spot, get to the ballpark easily and spare yourself a lot of headaches. You should definitely know what you’re doing, so read this carefully and commit it to memory.
And if you’re one of those folks that loves to beat the man and find free street parking at Fenway Park, this will help you with that too.
(Taking a trip to see the Red Sox? Check out my complete Fenway Park guide here!)
Here’s the breakdown of what you should know:
But first, an extremely valuable and applicable bit of advice from our sponsor:
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Fenway Park Parking, Part 1: Driving to Fenway Park
The closest interstate to Fenway is I-90 (Massachusetts Turnpike) running east-west north of the park; I-93 runs north-south east of the park.
The Red Sox provide directions on their website, with warnings that not only does traffic back up an hour before game time, it tends to back up at Brookline Avenue, Beacon Street and Commonwealth Avenue, Storrow Drive, and at Kenmore Square where Fenway is located. All these points are north and west.
Be sure to understand the distinction between road signs that say “Fenway Park”, as opposed to “Fenway”—the latter will take you to the actual Fenway neighborhood rather than the ballpark in Kenmore Square.
Since all of the Red Sox directions to Fenway involve Storrow Drive, try to find a way to avoid it. You can take the Prudential exit off of the Pike, use Huntington Avenue west and turn right on Massachusetts Avenue. From there a left will bring you into Kenmore Square. Or you can just use the easy-exit Prudential Center or 100 Clarendon lots.
The hard part, actually, is after the game. Leaving the ballpark, streets that you used to get in will change direction, and if you park close to Kenmore Square you will have to contend with thousands of pedestrians. This is another reason I suggest parking further away, and if you don’t want to do the walk, read on.
Fenway Park Parking, Part 2: Pre-Paid Red Sox Parking – Yes, Do This!!
There is a fair amount of parking in the area of Fenway Park, but you might not want to pay over $50 for something that isn’t as close or isn’t as easy to get out of as you might like.
Even if you don’t care how much you pay to park…an attitude local lot owners count on, believe me…I strongly recommend that you reserve a spot beforehand. It’s difficult enough trying to find an affordable lot; doing so in Kenmore Square traffic on game day will drive you insane.
The ParkWhiz website is where Boston residents and businesses who own in-demand parking spaces can list their spots and addresses, and people can reserve them ahead of time for a Red Sox game. Anything from large outfits like Pilgrim to people’s driveways can be included.
You simply enter the date of the game, select from available spots, and ParkWhiz will send you a printable reservation or a bar code on your phone for a guaranteed spot. Easy peezy. There are recommendations from people on different spots and they’ll even let you know if you can tailgate (which isn’t very common in Boston, but just saying).
Even if you are okay paying more for a closer spot, with ParkWhiz you can get something close to the highway, choose something that isn’t too exorbitant, read about who double parks or stacks cars, and choose a lot that works best for you. Plug the address into your GPS, and your day at Fenway just got a million times easier.
But definitely Book. Your. Parking. Beforehand.
Fenway Park Parking, Part 3: Parking Near The Ballpark
There are about 6,000 parking spaces within a 15-minute walk from Fenway Park. Parking is so rough at Fenway that some lots advertise “no blocking”. For a weekday game, with the area full of commuters, your chances of finding a spot decrease even more dramatically (and even the Red Sox are more emphatic that you should use the T on weekdays).
If you want to be close and don’t care about the traffic leaving, you can reserve spots in the lots on Lansdowne or Ipswich Street or Brookline Avenue for a highway robbery price.
If you’ve found someone crazy enough to drive a busload of friends to the game, bus parking is available in Lot B, near PlantPub (where Boston Beer Works used to be). For handicapped parking, the Sox list Jersey Street between Van Ness Street and Boylston Street, Ipswich Street near Gate B, and Overland Street next to Brookline Avenue. Convenient, but you will be waiting a long time to leave.
The Red Sox do a nice thing by providing a list of lots and garages on their website with prices, availability and addresses of nearby lots, but most of them don’t offer parking for under $40 on game days, even in lots that are a fair distance from the ballpark.
Distance from the ballpark does not always equal lower prices, by the way; in my visits I’ve seen the Shell station on Boylston charge almost twice as much as a Sunoco across the street, and I’ve also seen lots almost a half mile away from the ballpark charging $60. Don’t be intimidated if you see a high-priced lot further away.
Again, I can’t stress this enough. Book your parking in advance.
In many of the small lots (think 60 spaces or less), you could be double and triple parked, which can add to the headache of leaving after the game. Grab a bite nearby…there are plenty of spots in Fenwayville…and wait for the crowd to thin out. Or you can park at the Symphony garage on Westland Avenue to avoid this…it’s more expensive, but they valet park your car for you.
Fenway Park Parking, Part 4: Cheaper Parking for Fenway Park
Here are some of the less expensive parking options for parking at Fenway and why I recommend them. They are a bit farther away, but several are close to T stations.
100 Clarendon Street. This one is my favorite; I’ve used this garage a few times and have always been very happy with it. The Sox’s official lot is right off of I-90 on Clarendon Street and has 2,000 spaces; it’s close to the interstate but it’s a good hike from the park, over a mile.
So long as you have your ticket stub, the lot will only charge you a third of the going rate. You can book ahead on ParkWhiz for a very low price by Fenway Park parking standards, and have plenty left over for an extra Fenway Frank.
If you don’t mind the walk (and I never do, it’s actually a nice walk through town), this is your affordable option with a very easy out onto I-90.
If you want to avoid the walk, it’s near the Back Bay T Station, and you can use Commuter Rail to get to Lansdowne Station just steps from the ballpark IF you time your arrival right. (This might be tougher on weekends with less frequent service.)
If it’s too long a wait, it’s also not far from Copley Station, for an easy if crowded Green Line train ride to Kenmore.
Even with the train ride cost for 2-3 people, you’re still way ahead.
Prudential Center. The shops at the Pru Center have a lot that charges a bit more than Pilgrim (it’s $20 as I write this) but still much less than lots closer to Fenway; you do have to have a ticket stub. They claim to be Boston’s largest parking garage, so spot availability should be less of a problem here (and your car won’t be stacked on top of another one). Plenty of good pregame eats much cheaper than ballpark prices in the food court and in the area.
The Pru Center is also a bit of a hike (it’s in the path of the walk from 100 Clarendon but not much closer), about a mile away, but it’s very convenient to I-90 after the game. If you are too tired to do it coming back, you can take a Green Line train to Copley and transfer to an E train back to Prudential (or just walk it, it’s short), or use the Commuter Rail from Lansdowne to Back Bay.
You can see the Pru Center building inside the ballpark, beyond the right field scoreboard, so you know exactly which direction to walk in when the game’s over.
Hynes Auditorium Garage. Pilgrim Parking (50 Dalton Street) across from the Prudential Center charges a third of what most lots charge on weekends (it’s available on weekends only). This along with the Pru Center is a good spot to find Boston Pedicabs…you can read about them here.
This is a great choice for an even shorter walk; Google Maps calls it at just 13 minutes.
Symphony Garage (41 Westland Avenue). The Symphony Garage at the corner of Westland and Massachusetts Avenue is about a 15-minute walk, but it’s a bit cheaper, an easier out, and they’ll valet park your car for you so you’re not stacked behind or under other cars.
Beth Israel Deaconess (330 Brookline Avenue). This lot charges about half of what most lots closer to Fenway cost, and it’s an easy straight walk up Brookline Avenue.
Longwood Medical Center (375 Longwood Avenue). The garage for the local hospital is about a quarter mile away, and is one of the cheapest lots around if you don’t mind the walk, which is about as far as the Pru Center. You can take a Green Line D to or from Longwood station to skip the walk.
Boston University (766 Commonwealth Avenue). This lot is about half the price of most Fenway lots; it’s about a 20-minute walk, but it’s also close to the BU East T station on the Green Line if you’re not quite up to the hike after the game.
Museum of Fine Arts (465 Huntington Avenue). The Museum of Fine Arts is about a ten-minute walk from the ballpark, and they offer a nice deal on weekdays…$17 as of this writing if you arrive after 5:30 PM. I have read that this isn’t in the best part of Boston, however.
As far as parking meters, the local government has passed ordinances limiting the amount of street parking that can be had for Sox games, or at least charging a lot more for it. The new meter prices on Beacon Street, for example, aren’t quite what lots charge, but they’re no longer a steal or even worth the effort.
So that should be enough to help you find a deal and a short walk to Fenway Park. When we come back, I’ll name some spots where people have found free street parking at Fenway Park.
But first, this quick word from our sponsor:
Fenway Park Parking, Part 5: Free Street Parking at Fenway Park
Yes, you can park for free at Fenway Park; there are even some spaces that aren’t much further away than lots that go for $50. But be aware of certain things…street parking is at your own risk. If you get a ticket, the city will ensure that you wish you paid for parking elsewhere. I am not guaranteeing any of these spots; they are places I’ve found in my forum searches and visits to the ballpark.
There are still some side streets that are a bargain or even free. One more disclaimer: I wrote this in 2018, and as you can imagine this stuff changes, but hopefully I’m giving you enough to have alternatives if your wallet is light.
Ipswich Street. Near Lansdowne Street there is a back street portion of Ipswich that is a residents-only spot, but the resident parking is enforced from 6:00 PM on, so this should be a free spot for day games. I saw several cars without permits parked there for a game. This is practically right around the corner from the ballpark, and just steps away from a lot that is $50 as I write this.
Gardner Museum. About six blocks south of the park, the Isabella Gardner Museum sits across from Simmons College. Supposedly there is some Sunday street parking on Evans Way and Avenue Louis Pasteur here. This isn’t one of the better parts of Boston though, so this might be a day game choice.
Brookline Avenue/Chapel Street. West and south of Fenway Park there are metered spots along Brookline Avenue that become free after 6:00 PM, and a bit west is Chapel Street and the metered Longwood T lot. These are a steal if you land one, costing you only about $3-4 to feed the meter until 6:00 PM or for free on Sundays and holidays. For your efforts there are lots of eateries on Brookline to grab some takeout to bring in.
Burlington Avenue. Burlington is a side street from Brookline Avenue; there is reportedly free street parking here but you’ve got to be early. It’s a great spot if you land one though, and just a 5-minute walk.
Lansdowne MBTA Station. Just in front of the Commuter Rail station at Fenway I’ve read there is space for about a dozen cars, and there’s no parking restriction…for the moment. Just don’t block the European Car Doctors garage entrance.
Boston University/Bay State Road. There are some metered spots on Bay State Road on the Storrow Drive side near the Boston U. dorms, and on Commonwealth Avenue south of it. From Bay State it’s about a quarter mile walk. BU is buying up locations with spots, so this should be a last resort.
Back Bay Side Streets. On Sundays meters are inactive on the side streets of Commonwealth Avenue, east of the ballpark in the Back Bay area. Hereford and Gloucester Streets aren’t terribly far from Fenway.
There you go…some options for beating the man and parking for free at Fenway Park. Good luck and be careful.
Fenway Park Parking, Part 6: A Few More Parking Tips
There are a lot of good reasons not to park too close to the ballpark; insane parking prices, long waits to get in and out, and Kenmore Square traffic on game day. Keep in mind that with many of the lots I’ve suggested, you can use a subway or commuter rail train to get to the ballpark and still come out ahead.
Boston Pedicabs is another viable and fun option from many spots including the Pru Center area; you get a nice ride on a rickshaw through the city and an easy exit once you do get to the car. You won’t necessarily save money, but it’s still easier on the psyche.
Meters on Jersey Street become priority spaces on game nights, so you won’t save any money there.
Ultimately, it’s usually just easier to use an MBTA subway or commuter rail train to get to a Red Sox game. But if you plan ahead, driving and parking doesn’t have to be so bad. You can save a lot of money and aggravation if you’re willing to walk just a little bit. Again, reserve a spot before the game, and get there as early as you can.
Want to know more about the famous ballpark in Boston? Check out my complete Fenway Park guide…with everything you need to know for your next Red Sox game, including getting tickets, choosing a seat, and what to eat. Fenway Park isn’t for amateurs…be prepared!
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