UMass TE Adam Breneman says Minutemen are excited to play football at Fenway Park

  • UMass tight end Adam Breneman holds a Red Sox jersey at an event promoting November’s Fenway Gridiron Series. UMass hosts Maine at Fenway Park on Nov. 11. GAZETTE STAFF MATT VAUTOUR

  • At an April 25 event promoting November’s Fenway Gridiron Series, the center field video board showed the logos of each of the three upcoming matchup. GAZETTE STAFF MATT VAUTOUR

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

BOSTON — Growing up in eastern Pennsylvania, Adam Breneman was naturally a Philadelphia Phillies fan, but his father took him to a couple of Red Sox games at Fenway Park, leading the UMass tight end to adopt Boston as his American League team.

He never dreamed he’d play at the old ballpark because he couldn’t hit well enough to extend his career beyond his freshman year in high school.

Breneman will be playing at Fenway albeit without a bat in his hands. UMass is facing Maine on Nov. 11 as one of three football games in the Fenway Gridiron Series.

Breneman, coach Mark Whipple and athletic director Ryan Bamford were at Fenway Tuesday for an event promoting the three games. Dartmouth and Brown play Nov. 10, and Boston College and UConn play Nov. 18.

“We’re so excited to get here and play. I’m really excited. It’s a great opportunity for our school and this program,” Breneman said. “My dad used to work in Boston so I’ve been to a couple Red Sox games. The history and tradition they have here with Big Papi and Curt Schilling and those guys, it’s going to be a really neat experience. I’m looking forward to playing on the same field as some of those legends.”

After the success of Notre Dame hosting BC at Fenway in 2015, the Red Sox decided to bring football back again.

“I watched that game on TV. It was such a cool atmosphere,” Breneman said.

Whipple played baseball and football at Brown, and has been to Fenway many times. He said he’s only a casual baseball fan now.

Other than an occasional golf tournament in the summer, if he’s in front of a TV screen there’s usually football on it. Currently he’s working through watching game film of every game his 2017 opponents played in 2016, as well as NFL games. But he was glad his players were getting a unique experience.

“It’s part of the college education. Our kids are excited. Hopefully it’ll be a good thing,” he said.

Tuesday’s event was supposed to include one or more representatives from one of the teams throwing out the first pitch prior to the Red Sox-Yankees game, but the game was rained out.

Bamford said UMass is exploring how to create the best experience for UMass fans around the event.

“We looked at what Notre Dame did, obviously not on the same scale, but we looked at the things they did so see if any of them would make sense for us,” Bamford said.

With no natural outdoor tailgating locations, Bamford said UMass was looking at Fenway-area bars to potentially serve as pregame and postgame headquarters for UMass fans.

A contract with Twins Enterprises, the Red Sox Souvenir dealer, is in the works to produce some special UMass merchandise for the event.

Bamford said UMass will likely use a special uniform for the event as well.

TICKETS — Tickets for UMass and Maine, as well as Brown and Dartmouth, and BC and UConn go on sale May 15 at noon on redsox.com/gridiron.

Kickoff times for each of the games will be announced at a later date.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage