What started out as a concept a year ago will turn into reality in December when the Boston College men's hockey team plays a regular-season game under the lights, as well as the stars, at Fenway Park.
''We're going to do it," said a BC official yesterday. ''It's just a matter of finding an opponent and a date that will work. But we're going to play a game in Fenway."
The details will be worked out over the next several weeks, and they could include the Boston University team as part of a doubleheader. The original idea called for such a doubleheader, with BU and BC against teams from the Midwest, possibly Michigan and Michigan State.
The idea of outdoor collegiate hockey is not new, especially to schools from the Midwest. Michigan squared off against Michigan State before a record 74,554 fans at Michigan State's Spartan Stadium Oct. 6, 2001, a game that finished in a 3-3 tie.
But before any hockey can be played at Fenway, certain requirements must be met. For one thing, the Red Sox must apply to the city for a license to host hockey in a rink on top of the field.
The catalyst for staging hockey at Fenway is the Fenway Sports Group, a Red Sox business venture that formed a partnership with BC last year to help market its athletic program more aggressively to fans and corporate sponsors as well as market BC's switch from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The possibility of having the ACC baseball tournament at Fenway Park will be discussed at the conference's meetings this weekend in Florida.
Non-baseball events at Fenway are becoming more and more popular. In the past three years, for instance, the park has hosted concerts by Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett, and the Rolling Stones.