Fenway Park

COVID Outbreaks End Fenway Park's First Bowl Game, BC Football's Season

It's the second year in a row that the pandemic has spoiled Boston College's bowl bid and the Fenway Bowl

The first annual Fenway Bowl, a college football bowl game scheduled for Wednesday, won't be played this year after a COVID outbreak in one of the teams.

The University of Virginia was set to face off against SMU, but the Cavaliers have too many COVID cases and had to withdraw, organizers said Sunday.

Meanwhile, a COVID outbreak in Boston College's football team required the Eagles to pull out of the Military Bowl a day before it was scheduled to take place at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

"This is not the way we wanted to see this season come to an end," BC coach Jeff Hafley said. "We just do not have enough players to safely play a game. My heart goes out to our seniors who will not have one final opportunity to wear a BC jersey and I can’t thank them enough for all the contributions they made to our program."

It's the second year in a row that the pandemic has spoiled Boston College's bowl bid. The BC players voted not to go to a postseason game last year because of the emotional toll the pandemic season had taken.

Ahead of Monday's game, more than 40 players were unavailable due to COVID-19, injuries, opt-outs and transfers, athletic director Pat Kraft said.

The Fenway Bowl had been billed as New England's first Division 1 college football bowl game, as well as the first bowl game at Fenway Park. It's the second time the game was stymied by the pandemic, but organizers said they planned to hold the match again in 2022.

Ticket holders will be refunded within two weeks.

Both teams were set to participate in events like trolley tours of Boston, but those have been canceled as well.

NBC/The Associated Press
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