Apart from being one of the oldest and most respected academic institutions in the country, Harvard University’s football team and stadium go back a long time. Harvard Stadium was originally built in 1903 and seated 20,000 people. In the years since the stadium opened, it has gone through multiple renovations, seating up to 57,000 people at one point thanks to steel stands that have been since removed.
More recently, the horseshoe-shaped stadium comfortably seats 30,000. Due to the stadium’s place in college football and physical location in Boston, it was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1987. The popular venue hosted several international soccer matches during the Summer Olympics three years prior in 1984.
Harvard University sports teams are known as the “Crimson,” and they are leaders in their conference when it comes to football. The school’s mascot is John Harvard, who has been known to take on many forms over the course of the school's history. The Crimson, who have claimed many national college championships between 1890 and 1919, and are multi-year winners of the Ivy League Conference, which is home to other Ivy Leauge schools such as Princeton, Penn, and Cornell.
The team’s main rivals are Yale, but they have rivalries with other teams in the conference. Though football is a big deal at Harvard, the school fields 42 varsity sports including basketball, baseball, crew, fencing, hockey, rugby, and many others.
It’s often quite affordable to see a Harvard University Crimson football game. On average, fans might pay around $20 for a single ticket on game day, but they may be cheaper if pre-purchased. Depending on the opponent, Crimson fans may find basketball tickets for around $15 to $35.
Harvard University is located in the Lower Allston neighborhood of Boston, which is about 20 minutes from the downtown area. If you are coming from the Downtown Boston area or from the west, you will likely take MA-20 or I-90 to get to the stadium. I-95 and I-93 are also prominent routes through the region. Cash on hand for tolls is always best in Massachusetts and is surrounding areas. Providence, Rhode Island and Hartford, Connecticut are each under two hours away and may also be points of interest along your route.
Due to the school’s strict parking policy, large vehicles such as RVs are not allowed to park at any parking facility. However, parking and tailgating are allowed for regular-sized vehicles, so you may want to drive your tow vehicle to the stadium if you brought one. Fans can park and tailgate at Gate 14 which has cost approximately $20 in recent years. Parking lots open two hours before the game, which is when the tailgating begins. Crimson fans may also tailgate one hour after the game, except in the case of night games.
With the football parking lots being so close to Harvard Stadium, there may not be a reason for a shuttle. However, if you plan on leaving your RV and tow vehicle at a campground, you can use Boston’s excellent public transportation system. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) offers subway, rail, bus, and ferry routes. To get to Harvard from the downtown area, ride the subway via the red line which should take less than 20 minutes.
Due to a lack of available RV parking, camping overnight on campus is not feasible at Harvard University. For a comfortable stay, it’s worth booking a stay at a local Massachusetts RV campground or park, but fill up your water and gas tanks since not all campgrounds may have hookups. This close to the coast campers may also appreciate a night within proximity to Massachusetts Bay and it's incredible history.
The Boston area is home to many RV campgrounds, with many of them within 20 to 30 minutes of driving distance to the university. A popular campground in the area, Boston/Cape Cod KOA, is located about an hour south of Harvard University. This campground’s amenities include electricity hookups, Wi-Fi, laundry room, general store, and a pool.
Boston Minuteman Campground offers a family-friendly environment nestled back into the woods just under an hour's drive north of Boston. Circle CG Farm Campground may be in a helpful location between Pawtucket and Worcester and also under an hour away from campus.
Crimson fans often walk to the stadium since the parking lots are not far away, but you may want to wear a comfortable pair of shoes, especially if you plan on tailgating. Consider bringing a stroller if you’re traveling with small children, whether for game day activities or for a jaunt through Downtown Boston, the Bunker Hill Monument, or the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.
With severe cold temperatures in the late fall and winter, it’s best to stay bundled up with warm clothes. Pack extra layers and winter accessories such as gloves, mittens, beanies, and thick socks. When the season begins, wear light clothing made from breathable fabrics, but have warmer items on hand as the sun sets in the evenings. Also, remember to pack some Harvard Crimson football gear in the school’s crimson, white, and black colors.
If you do plan on tailgating, there are a few essential items you may want to bring, but consider the space in your campervan or tow vehicle. More than any other item, a grill can make or break a tailgate. Bring an ice chest as well to keep your drinks cool, and consider bringing a fold-out table to prepare and serve your dishes easily. Depending on your day's timeframes, you may prefer to prepare items in advance for game day activities or opt to create a lavish tailgate for your Crimson crew at your campsite before heading to Harvard Stadium.
Charcoal grills are also banned from tailgate areas, but you are free to use propane grills. Propane tanks must be 20 pounds or less. Harvard University prohibits kegs and similar items from tailgate areas and requests that guests respect fellow fans. Remember to help children stay with your group when walking in public areas and through trails near your Boston area campground.
When you’re hosting a tailgate event, the menu is up to you, but you may want to make a local favorite or two to please the home crowd. Stop at the grocery store first as you build out your tailgating menu, and take advantage of Boston’s fresh seafood. The lobster roll is one popular local dish that your guests will love, and it doesn’t require that many ingredients.
The Downtown Boston food scene is diverse as well as delicious! Expect plenty of eateries close to campus that deserve your attention. Mr. Bartley’s Gourmet Burgers has been around since the 1960s and is a local favorite of Crimson fans. Thick, juicy patties and crispy steak-cut fries are a staple, and the walls of this burger joint are covered top-to-bottom with Harvard memorabilia.
Once inside the stadium, fans can load up on popular stadium snacks at one of several concession stands. Remember to bring some cash inside the stadium to purchase food, drinks, and souvenirs. Harvard Stadium's recycling program encourages fans to utilize the bins near the onsite vendors.
As with many other stadiums in college football, Harvard Stadium has a strict bag policy that prohibits backpacks and other large bags. Upon entry, fans and all belongings will be searched. University security staff are located throughout the stadium to help if needed. Also, outside food and drinks are not allowed inside the facilities.
Travelers to Massachusetts might expect mild to warm weather from June to September in Boston. In the summer, temperatures rarely go above the low 80s. After September, the weather gradually cools. By December, the average low is usually below freezing. With an average of 48 inches of snow, Boston’s snowfall is above the national average of 28 inches.
Bring any medicine that you may need with you when heading on your RV trip to the East Coast. If you feel unwell, dial 911 or ask for help from a stadium employee. Drive to a hospital if you or someone else are in need of medical help. The nearest hospital is less than ten minutes from the university.