The Best City for Sports: Boston, Massachusetts

Don’t like sports? You will if you live in Boston long enough.

With a population of just under 700,000, Boston proper is on the smaller side of America’s major sports cities, in spite of being the largest city in New England. To its benefit, however, the home of such iconic sports teams as the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox offers a much more familial feel than say New York, Los Angeles or Chicago. Whether you’re a die-hard fantasy leaguer or fair-weather fan, the Bostonian passion for sports is pretty contagious among residents of this densely populated New England city. ESTATENVY spoke with real estate agent Zach Jay of the top-performing Steven Cohen Team on what it’s like to live in one of the greatest sporting cities as a member of one of the city’s hardest-hustling real estate teams.

“I am originally from New York, which is interesting from a sports perspective,” said Jay. “I wasn’t a big sports fan growing up there, but gradually I found myself developing more of an interest in professional sports after moving to Boston about 10 years ago.”
“It’s hard to live in Boston and not feel a pretty strong affinity for one or many of the iconic teams that play here,” Jay continued. “Boston is a work hard, play hard kind of city, but in a distinct and understated way. We’re competitive and we like that our teams reflect that attitude.”
Jay noted that Boston overall is in a substantial state of growth, some of which is centered around the city’s lively sports culture. Neighborhoods such as the Seaport District or Fenway—home of the Red Sox—have seen exponential development over the past few years.
“Samuels & Associates, a commercial real estate developer here in Boston, made a big bet on the Fenway neighborhood years ago by acquiring a ton of land in that territory, which they have incrementally redeveloped over time,” said Jay. “When you walk through the area now, it’s nearly unrecognizable compared to the Fenway of a decade ago, and it’s all happening within a five to 10 minute walk to the front door of Fenway Park.”
”It’s also unique to have a major stadium right in the heart of the city,” Jay noted. The centrality of Fenway Park makes it easily accessible from almost all sides. There’s no escaping game day in Boston, so to speak. “Major sporting events really can take over the entire city,” Jay continued. “When you compare it to other heavy-hitter cities, Boston is quite small geographically, and for that reason it is very intimate. People can be divided in so many ways, but a shared love of sports can really assist in bringing different groups of people together.”
According to Jay, Boston’s West End, which houses home turf to the Celtics and Bruins TD Garden, has also seen significant growth and development.
“Every neighborhood [in the area] can be compelling for sports enthusiasts,” said Jay, but the city also has fantastic options for professional athletes. “There are particular pockets within the city that are enormously appealing to pro players. Some have interest in the increasing number of highly amenitized and luxurious full-service or boutique buildings that provide premium services and a degree of discretion. Boston is also of course home to an enormous number of beautiful old brownstones with storied architecture, rich in historic detail—many of which have been outfitted with all manner of high-end amenities. There is no one-size-fits-all asset class that every athlete looks for, and Boston boasts a wide variety of homes of different styles to suit athletes’ individual tastes.”
“There are also a number of estates that sit in desirable neighboring towns that are a little more private and serene—beautiful properties on larger lots of land that are owned happily by professional athletes,” Jay said. “When homes like that come on the market—or as they frequently do, trade off-market—it often becomes news because residents here care so much about our teams and players.”
Jay sees continued growth in Boston’s future, regardless of broader market trends. “We do experience ebbs and flows,” said Jay, “but if you look back historically to real estate trends and reference major events, Boston has fared well in market downturns [relative to other geographical areas] and has maintained a high-level upward trajectory.”
If you’re looking to become a part of history-in-the-making in this legendary city, or just pop a cold one and catch a couple foul balls, it sounds like Boston is the city for you.