Nickerson Field - Boston University Terriers
Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.71
285 Babcock St.
Boston, MA 02215
Boston University Lacrosse website
Year Opened: 1915
A Historic Home
Nickerson Field, located on the Boston University campus, is the home of the Boston University lacrosse and soccer teams. It previously served as home of the BU football team before the school disbanded the program after the 1997 season. The field is named for William Emery Nickerson, a partner of King C. Gillette during the early years of the Gillette Safety Razor Company, who was the principal inventor of machinery to manufacture the first Gillette safety razors. Nickerson was also a BU trustee and benefactor of the Terrier football squad.
More notably, the site of Nickerson Field was originally Braves Field, the home of Major League Baseball’s Boston Braves from 1915-1953, before the team moved to Milwaukee. Parts of Braves Field remain as parts of Nickerson Field, including the entry gate and right field pavilion. The old ticket offices have been converted for use by the school’s police department. Several other teams, including the Boston Patriots, have called Nickerson Field home over the years.
The Boston University lacrosse team was founded in 2014. In their decade of play, the Terriers have won one Patriot League championship and have qualified for one NCAA tournament, both in 2022.
Food & Beverage 0
Despite the presence of several concession stands at Nickerson Field, there are no food or beverages available for purchase at a Terriers lacrosse game. Fans are welcome to bring in their own snacks to enjoy during the game. With City Convenience store located just beyond the southwest end zone, it’s simple enough to pick something up. Fans can even leave the game, run over to the store to pick something up and come right back.
You wouldn’t expect an elaborate game day presentation at a college lacrosse game with the smallish crowds present at a place like Nickerson Field, and you won’t get one here. That doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy your time at a BU lacrosse game. The fans are into the action, connected to the players on the field, and boisterous in their support. Lacrosse games are a lot of fun to experience.
There is a decent-sized video scoreboard in the northeast end zone, which is somehow swallowed up by the size of Nickerson Field. The scoreboard provides replays, some graphics and basic game statistics. The only speakers in the facility are located near the scoreboard, which mutes the music and PA announcements. While it’s a pleasant change to not be overwhelmed by noise throughout a game, it can be hard to hear game information.
Youth lacrosse teams take the field at halftime and fill Nickerson Field with noise throughout the game. Sports historians will certainly enjoy the photos that line the concourse from throughout the stadium’s long lifespan.
Boston University is an urban campus, straddling Commonwealth Avenue for approximately a mile and a half on the Boston/Brookline border. While this area of Boston isn’t considered a popular tourist destination, there are still plenty of things to do in the vicinity.
Located adjacent to Nickerson Field are several of Boston University’s athletic facilities, including Agganis Arena, Case Gymnasium and Walter Brown Arena.
Fans coming to the BU campus will find plenty of choices nearby if eating before or after the game. Raising Cain is a popular fast-food place known for their variety of chicken wings, located about a block from Nickerson Field. T’s Pub is a popular gathering spot on Commonwealth Ave, as is Sunset Cantina, which features Mexican-style fare. There are several excellent Thai restaurants around, including the Brown Sugar Café.
The Paradise Rock Club, known for giving bands like U2, Phish and REM their first area shows, is located on Commonwealth Avenue right in front of Nickerson Field. It continues to host both local acts and up-and-coming national acts.
Out of town visitors to Boston will be interested to know Kenmore Square and Fenway Park are just over a mile away from Nickerson Field. Not far beyond that are the tourist destinations of Copley Square, Back Bay, Boston Common and Chinatown. All are easily accessed by the Green Line, which has stops up and down Commonwealth Avenue.
As a rule, lacrosse fans are very knowledgeable and passionate about the sport and the action on the field. Since the great majority of the fans in the stands have a personal connection to the players on the field, it’s understandable that they are heavily invested in the outcome and boisterous in their support. Lacrosse games have an energy to them that other sports just don’t seem to always enjoy, and Nickerson Field is no exception.
The college lacrosse season runs from February to May, so you can expect some bad weather in this part of the country early in the season. Crowds generally start off small and build over the course of the season as it warms up. Stadium Journey attended a game on a beautiful mid-March afternoon and the crowd numbered over 500. This appears to be a representative crowd for Terrier lacrosse. Crowds generally number between 250-500.
Also notable in the crowd were several four-legged lacrosse fans. Ironically, not a single terrier was seen among the good doggos present.
Boston University is an urban campus that straddles Commonwealth Avenue in Boston’s Fenway/Kenmore and Allston neighborhoods. While Boston can be a difficult city to get around, “Comm Ave” is one of the city’s main drags and easily accessible for visitors. Both the Mass Pike (Interstate 90) and Storrow Drive pass near Nickerson Field. Detailed driving directions can be found here.
The easiest method for getting to Nickerson Field is the city’s subway system, known locally as the “T.” The green line’s B train has a stop at Babcock Street, a two-minute walk from the facility. The 57 bus also has a stop at Babcock Street near the stadium. Full bus and subway schedules can be found here.
The seating area at Nickerson Field is the former right field pavilion at Braves Field, which dates all the way back to 1915. It’s a simple structure which runs the length of one side of the lacrosse field. Seating consists mainly of metal bleachers without backs, with some sections of folding plastic seats around midfield. The grandstand is pushed back a distance from the playing field but still provides good views of the action. There is plenty of room to spread out or stand should you prefer. There are spots outside of the stadium proper which provide complete views of the facility. You will see many BU students stop and take in the action for a bit before moving on.
Rest rooms are small, but clean and ample for a typical Terrier lacrosse crowd. These rest rooms must have been stretched to their limits during the days the Braves or Patriots used the facilities.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets to Terrier lacrosse games costs eight dollars. Children under 12 are admitted free of charge. Be aware that tickets can be purchased with cash only.
Parking is available in the nearby Langsam Garage or in a pair of lots behind Agganis Arena. There is ample on-street parking in the neighborhood, although spots may be difficult to find. Feeding a meter in the area will run you six dollars for the three hours you are parked for a lacrosse game.
With no concessions or merchandise for sale at a Terrier game, you won’t break the bank with a visit to Nickerson Field.
As mentioned earlier, Nickerson Field was born as Braves Field early in the 20th century. Obviously, there is a long and rich history here. Boston University displays this history with photos from the facility’s days as home of the Braves and Terriers.
Free rosters, schedules and posters are available for all visiting fans.
Fans of sports history will undoubtedly enjoy a visit to Nickerson Field to take in the aura of the place. Of all the “jewel box” ballparks of its era, Braves Field has the largest amount of its original structure remaining. And bonus, you’ll be able to take in some affordable, quality lacrosse while you’re there!
Follow Paul Baker’s stadium journeys on Twitter and Instagram @PuckmanRI.