The Red Sox lost at home on Sunday, but the team gained a different sort of victory.
The game was the 745th consecutive sellout of Fenway Park, according to the MLB. The Red Sox now own the record for the longest regular season sellout streak in major U.S. sports.
The NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers had previously held the record, with 744 straight regular season sellouts spanning from 1977 to 1995.
The Sox’ streak, which began in 2003, is not without its share of controversy. As the Boston Globe reported in May:
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a sellout as “something for which all tickets are sold.”
The Sox embrace an alternate definition that permits them to declare a game sold out even if hundreds of tickets go unsold but others are distributed for free.
“I can understand the confusion,” said Sam Kennedy, the team’s executive vice president. “But we operate by a definition that is commonly practiced throughout Major League Baseball and professional sports.”
The Sox set the sellout record despite a lackluster performance so far this season — the team is now two games under .500 and last in the division.
In May, WBUR’s Curt Nickisch reported on how the team’s poor play was putting the streak in jeopardy, and causing ticket prices to sell for well below face value on resale markets.
The team set the regular season sellout record in the 100th year of Fenway Park. You can see all of our Fenway anniversary coverage from April here.