On Sun., Nov.18, Fenway Park will once again feature the Irish sport of hurling when four top teams from the Emerald Isle will engage in a day-long tournament featuring Clare, the reigning champion and current holder of the Players Champions Cup; Limerick, the 2018 All-Ireland Champion; Cork; and Wexford.
This will be the third go-around for Irish hurlers on Red Sox turf in this decade after a 61-year hiatus ended in 2015 with the introduction of the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic.
Hurling advocates generally consider the sport to be the world’s oldest field game and the “fastest game on grass” and the initial match in the Fens three years ago was a success as some 30,000 were in attendance for an impressive match that saw the team from Galway hold off a Dublin squad.
In the aftermath, another tournament was hotly anticipated. In 2017, the city of Boston held a gala to welcome the members of the Gaelic Players association (GPA) back to the city for that year’s AIG Fenway Hurling Classic, which featured two matches between four of Ireland’s top teams.
The organizers of this year’s event organizers— the GPA, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), and Fenway Sports Management (FSM) – say they expect another memorable day with a three-game tournament planned.
“Hurling has been one of the most popular offseason events that Fenway Park has hosted in recent years and the tournament format introduced last year added to the excitement,” FSM Managing Director Mark Lev said last week.
City officials are eager to see the quick-paced game with its passionate followers return to the city. “I’m thrilled that hurling is coming back to Fenway Park and I am excited to welcome the teams, their fans, the Gaelic Players Association and the Gaelic Athletic Association to Boston,” said Mayor Martin Walsh. “Hurling is the one of the greatest games in the world and whether it’s American football in Dublin, college hockey in Belfast, or hurling right here in Fenway, it’s uniquely Irish and uniquely Boston.”
This year’s tournament, with Aer Lingus as its official airline, will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 18 and also feature an Irish festival including Irish food, music, and dancing. Tickets went on sale on Sept. 20. See redsox.com/hurling for more information.