They are all knee-deep in Greek life, eating unhealthy and tailgating every weekend. These are just some of the most common stereotypes us Europeans hold of American college students. While some of these aspects weren’t appealing to me, the idea of a big sports culture on campuses was something I was looking forward to – until I arrived at Northeastern.
With no football team, no tailgating and a stadium that’s over two miles away from campus, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised by Northeastern’s mediocre fan scene. Boston College, I soon found out, had a stadium right next to campus – and tailgates to write home about.
I found that intriguing. Why do colleges locate their stadiums so far from their campuses? Real estate prices are certainly one of the major contributing factors, so I decided to map a few cases.
Take Harvard as an example: The average home value index price in Cambridge, home to Harvard’s campus, is roughly $750,000. By locating their stadium just across the Charles River in Allston, the university was obviously after cheaper land. The average home value there is $545,000, quite the significant difference.
The same can be said for Boston University. The main portion of its campus located in Kenmore, where the average home price is $650,000. Having Agganis Arena in Allston drops that price by $100,000.
For other universities, the average home value did not seem to have a significant impact on the choice of location for their stadiums. Both Bentley University and Northeastern University have stadiums located in neighborhoods where the average home value is higher than that of their campus neighborhoods. In Bentley’s case, the average home price is roughly $15,000 higher in Watertown, where John A. Ryan Stadium is located, than it is in Waltham.
For Northeastern, however, Parsons field is located in Brookline, a neighborhood with an average home price of $820,000. In comparison, Boston’s Fenway Cultural District has an average home price of $550,000. It must be said that Parsons Field was purchased in 1930, a time where the average home price was certainly very different to nowadays. The same may be a case for other stadiums I’ve profiled.
Nonetheless, whether you are a big supporter of your college’s athletics or not, having a stadium located close to campus is a major benefit. That way, you won’t have to think twice, whether the long commute to a different neighborhood is really worth it on a cold Sunday night.