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[update], the Catholic Church had the highest number of adherents as a single denomination in the Greater Boston area, with more than two million members and 339 churches, followed by the Episcopal Church with 58,000 adherents in 160 churches. The United Church of Christ had 55,000 members and 213 churches.[151]

The city has a Jewish population of an estimated 248,000 Jews within the Boston metro area.[152] More than half of Jewish households in the Greater Boston area reside in the city itself, Brookline, Newton, Cambridge, Somerville, or adjacent towns.[152]

Distribution of Greater Boston NECTA Labor Force (2016)[155]

  Nat'l resources & mining (0%)
  Construction (5%)
  Manufacturing (8%)
  Trade, transportation & utilities (15%)
  Information (3%)
  Finance & real estate (8%)
  Professional & business services (15%)
  Educational & health services (28%)
  Leisure & hospitality (9%)
  Other services (4%)
  Government (4%)

A global city, Boston is placed among the top 30 most economically powerful cities in the world.[156] Encompassing $363 billion, the Greater Boston metropolitan area has the sixth-largest economy in the country and 12th-largest in the world.[157]

Boston's colleges and universities exert a significant impact on the regional economy. Boston attracts more than 350,000 college students from around the world, who contribute more than US$4.8 billion annually to the city's economy.[158][159] The area's schools are major employers and attract industries to the city and surrounding region. The city is home to a number of technology companies and is a hub for biotechnology, with the Milken Institute rating Boston as the top life sciences cluster in the country.[160] Boston receives the highest absolute amount of annual funding from the National Institutes of Health of all cities in the United States.[161]

The city is considered highly innovative for a variety of reasons, including the presence of academia, access to venture capital, and the presence of many high-tech companies.[23][162] The Route 128 corridor and Greater Boston continue to be a major center for venture capital investment,[163] and high technology remains an important sector.

Tourism also composes a large part of Boston's economy, with 21.2 million domestic and international visitors spending $8.3 billion in 2011.[164] Excluding visitors from Canada and Mexico, over 1.4 million international tourists visited Boston in 2014, with those from China and the United Kingdom leading the list.[165] Boston's status as a state capital as well as the regional home of federal agencies has rendered law and government to be another major component of the city's economy.[166] The city is a major seaport along the East Coast of the United States and the oldest continuously operated industrial and fishing port in the Western Hemisphere.[167]

In the 2018 Global Financial Centres Index, Boston was ranked as having the thirteenth most competitive financial services center in the world and the second most competitive in the United States.[168] Boston-based global city, Boston is placed among the top 30 most economically powerful cities in the world.[156] Encompassing $363 billion, the Greater Boston metropolitan area has the sixth-largest economy in the country and 12th-largest in the world.[157]

Boston's colleges and universities exert a significant impact on the regional economy. Boston attracts more than 350,000 college students from around the world, who contribute more than US$4.8 billion annually to the city's economy.[158][159] The area's schools are major employers and attract industries to the city and surrounding region. The city is home to a number of technology companies and is a hub for biotechnology, with the Milken Institute rating Boston as the top life sciences cluster in the country.[160] Boston receives the highest absolute amount of annual funding from the National Institutes of Health of all cities in the United States.[161]

The city is considered highly innovative for a variety of reasons, including the presence of academia, access to venture capital, and the presence of many high-tech companies.[23][162] The Route 128 corridor and Greater Boston continue to be a major center for venture capital investment,[163] and high technology remains an important sector.

Tourism also composes a large part of Boston's economy, with 21.2 million domestic and international visitors spending $8.3 billion in 2011.[164] Excluding visitors from Canada and Mexico, over 1.4 million international tourists visited Boston in 2014, with those from China and the United Kingdom leading the list.[165] Boston's status as a state capital as well as the regional home of federal agencies has rendered law and government to be another major component of the city's economy.[166] The city is a major [158][159] The area's schools are major employers and attract industries to the city and surrounding region. The city is home to a number of technology companies and is a hub for biotechnology, with the Milken Institute rating Boston as the top life sciences cluster in the country.[160] Boston receives the highest absolute amount of annual funding from the National Institutes of Health of all cities in the United States.[161]

The city is considered highly innovative for a variety of reasons, including the presence of academia, access to venture capital, and the presence of many high-tech companies.[23][162] The Route 128 corridor and Greater Boston continue to be a major center for venture capital investment,[163] and high technology remains an important sector.

Tourism also composes a large part of Boston's economy, with 21.2 million domestic and international visitors spending $8.3 billion in 2011.[164] Excluding visitors from Canada and Mexico, over 1.4 million international tourists visited Boston in 2014, with those from China and the United Kingdom leading the list.[165] Boston's status as a state capital as well as the regional home of federal agencies has rendered law and government to be another major component of the city's economy.[166] The city is a major seaport along the East Coast of the United States and the oldest continuously operated industrial and fishing port in the Western Hemisphere.[167]

In the 2018 Global Financial Centres Index, Boston was ranked as having the thirteenth most competitive financial services center in the world and the second most competitive in the United States.[168] Boston-based Fidelity Investments helped popularize the mutual fund in the 1980s and has made Boston one of the top financial centers in the United States.[169][170] The city is home to the headquarters of Santander Bank, and Boston is a center for venture capital firms. State Street Corporation, which specializes in asset management and custody services, is based in the city. Boston is a printing and publishing center[171]Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is headquartered within the city, along with Bedford-St. Martin's Press and Beacon Press. Pearson PLC publishing units also employ several hundred people in Boston. The city is home to three major convention centers—the Hynes Convention Center in the Back Bay, and the Seaport World Trade Center and Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on the South Boston waterfront.[172] The General Electric Corporation announced in January 2016 its decision to move the company's global headquarters to the Seaport District in Boston, from Fairfield, Connecticut, citing factors including Boston's preeminence in the realm of higher education.[173] Boston is home to the headquarters of several major athletic and footwear companies including Converse, New Balance, and Reebok. Rockport, Puma and Wolverine World Wide, Inc. headquarters or regional offices[174] are just outside the city.[175]

In 2019, a yearly ranking of time wasted in traffic listed Boston area drivers lost approximately 164 hours a year in lost productivity due to the area's traffic congestion. This amounted to $2,300 a year per driver in costs.[176]

The Boston Public Schools enroll 57,000 students attending 145 schools, including the renowned Boston Latin Academy, John D. O'Bryant School of Math & Science, and Boston Latin School. The Boston Latin School was established in 1635 and is the oldest public high school in the US. Boston also operates the United States' second-oldest public high school and its oldest public elementary school.[19] The system's students are 40% Hispanic or Latino, 35% Black or African American, 13% White, and 9% Asian.[177] There are private, parochial, and charter schools as well, and approximately 3,300 minority students attend participating suburban schools through the Metropolitan Educational Opportunity Council.[178] In September 2019, the city formally inaugurated Boston Saves, a program that provides every child enrolled in the city's kindergarten system a savings account containing $50 to be used toward college or career training.[179]

Higher education

Map of Boston-area universities
MIT Building 10 and the Great Dome, Cambridge Massachusetts[180][181] Three universities with a major presence in the city, Harvard, MIT, and Tufts, are just outside of Boston in the cities of Cambridge and Somerville, known as the Brainpower Triangle.[182] Harvard is the nation's oldest institute of higher education and is centered across the Charles River in Cambridge, though the majority of its land holdings and a substantial amount of its educational activities are in Boston. Its business school and athletics facilities are in Boston's Allston neighborhood, and its medical, dental, and public health schools are located in the Longwood area.[183]

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) originated in Boston and was long known as "Boston Tech"; it moved across the river to Cambridge in 1916.[184] Tufts University's main campus is north of the city in Somerville and Medford, though it locates its medical and dental schools in Boston's Chinatown at Tufts Medical Center, a 451-bed academic medical institution that is home to a full-service hospital for adults and the Floating Hospital for Children.[185]

Four members of the Association of American Universities are in Greater Boston (more than any other metropolitan area): Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, and Brandeis University.[186] Furthermore, Greater Boston contains seven Highest Research Activity (R1) Universities as per the Carnegie Classification. This includes, in addition to the aforementioned four, Boston College, Northeastern University, and Tufts University. This is, by a large margin, the highest concentration of such institutions in a single metropolitan area. Hospitals, universities, and research institutions in Greater Boston received more than $1.77 billion in National Institutes of Health grants in 2013, more money than any other American metropolitan area.[187]

Greater Boston has more than 100 colleges and universities, with 250,000 students enrolled in Boston and Cambridge alone.[188] The city's largest private universities include Boston University (also the city's fourth-largest employer),[189] with its main campus along Commonwea

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) originated in Boston and was long known as "Boston Tech"; it moved across the river to Cambridge in 1916.[184] Tufts University's main campus is north of the city in Somerville and Medford, though it locates its medical and dental schools in Boston's Chinatown at Tufts Medical Center, a 451-bed academic medical institution that is home to a full-service hospital for adults and the Floating Hospital for Children.[185]

Four members of the Association of American Universities are in Greater Boston (more than any other metropolitan area): Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, and Brandeis University.[186] Furthermore, Greater Boston contains seven Highest Research Activity (R1) Universities as per the Carnegie Classification. This includes, in addition to the aforementioned four, Boston College, Northeastern University, and Tufts University. This is, by a large margin, the highest concentration of such institutions in a single metropolitan area. Hospitals, universities, and research institutions in Greater Boston received more than $1.77 billion in National Institutes of Health grants in 2013, more money than any other American metropolitan area.[187]

Greater Boston has more than 100 colleges and universities, with 250,000 students enrolled in Boston and Cambridge alone.[188] The city's largest private universities include Boston University (also the city's fourth-largest employer),[189] with its main campus along Commonwealth Avenue and a medical campus in the South End, Northeastern University in the Fenway area,[190] Suffolk University near Beacon Hill, which includes law school and business school,[191] and Boston College, which straddles the Boston (Brighton)–Newton border.[192] Boston's only public university is the University of Massachusetts Boston on Columbia Point in Dorchester. Roxbury Community College and Bunker Hill Community College are the city's two public community colleges. Altogether, Boston's colleges and universities employ more than 42,600 people, accounting for nearly seven percent of the city's workforce.[193]

Smaller private colleges include Babson College, Bentley University, Boston Architectural College, Emmanuel College, Fisher College, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Simmons College, Wellesley College, Wheelock College, Wentworth Institute of Technology, New England School of Law (originally established as America's first all female law school),[194] and Emerson College.[195]

Metropolitan Boston is home to several conservatories and art schools, including Lesley University College of Art and Design, Massachusetts College of Art, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, New England Institute of Art, New England School of Art and Design (Suffolk University), Longy School of Music of Bard College, and the New England Conservatory (the oldest independent conservatory in the United States).[196] Other conservatories include the Boston Conservatory and Berklee College of Music, which has made Boston an important city for jazz music.[197]

Boston included $414 million in spending on the Boston Police Department in the fiscal 2021 budget. This is the second largest allocation of funding by the city after the allocation to Boston Public Schools.[198]

Like many major American cities, Boston has seen a great reduction in violent crime since the early 1990s. Boston's low crime rate since the 1990s has been credited to the Boston Police Department's collaboration with neighborhood groups and church parishes to prevent youths from joining gangs, as well as involvement from the United States Attorney and District Attorney's offices. This helped lead in part to what has been touted as the "Boston Miracle". Murders in the city dropped from 152 in 1990 (for a murder rate of 26.5 per 100,000 people) to just 31—not one of them a juvenile—in 1999 (for a murder rate of 5.26 per 100,000).[199]

In 2008, there were 62 reported homicides.[200] Through December 30, 2016, major crime was down seven percent and there were 46 homicides compared to 40 in 2015.[201]

CultureLike many major American cities, Boston has seen a great reduction in violent crime since the early 1990s. Boston's low crime rate since the 1990s has been credited to the Boston Police Department's collaboration with neighborhood groups and church parishes to prevent youths from joining gangs, as well as involvement from the United States Attorney and District Attorney's offices. This helped lead in part to what has been touted as the "Boston Miracle". Murders in the city dropped from 152 in 1990 (for a murder rate of 26.5 per 100,000 people) to just 31—not one of them a juvenile—in 1999 (for a murder rate of 5.26 per 100,000).[199]

In 2008, there were 62 reported homicides.[200] Through December 30, 2016, major crime was down seven percent and there were 46 homicides compared to 40 in 2015.[201]

Boston shares many cultural roots with greater New England, including a dialect of the non-rhotic Eastern New England accent known as the Boston accent[202] and a regional cuisine with a large emphasis on seafood, salt, and dairy products.[203] Boston also has its own collection of neologisms known as Boston slang and sardonic humor.[204]

In the early 1800s, William Tudor wrote that Boston was "'perhaps the most perfect and certainly the best-regulated democracy that ever existed. There is something so impossible in the immortal fame of Athens, that the very name makes everything modern shrink from comparison; but since the days of that glorious city I know of none that has approached so near in some points, distant as it may still be from that illustrious model.'[205] From this, Boston has been called the "Athens of America" (also a nickname of Philadelphia[206]) for its literary culture, earning a reputation as "the intellectual capital of the United States".[207]

In the nineteenth century, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Margaret Fuller, James Russell Lowell, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote in Boston. Some consider the Old Corner Bookstore to be the "cradle of American literature", the place where these writers met and where The Atlantic Monthly was first published.[208] In 1852, the Boston Public Library was founded as the first free library in the United States.[207] Boston's literary culture continues today thanks to the city's many universities and the Boston Book Festival.

Music is afforded a high degree of civic support in Boston. The Boston Symphony Orchestra is one of the "Big Five", a group of the greatest American orchestras, and the classical music magazine Gramophone called it one of the "world's best" orchestras.[209] Symphony Hall (west of Back Bay) is home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the related William Tudor wrote that Boston was "'perhaps the most perfect and certainly the best-regulated democracy that ever existed. There is something so impossible in the immortal fame of Athens, that the very name makes everything modern shrink from comparison; but since the days of that glorious city I know of none that has approached so near in some points, distant as it may still be from that illustrious model.'[205] From this, Boston has been called the "Athens of America" (also a nickname of Philadelphia[206]) for its literary culture, earning a reputation as "the intellectual capital of the United States".[207]

In the nineteenth century, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Margaret Fuller, James Russell Lowell, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote in Boston. Some consider the Old Corner Bookstore to be the "cradle of American literature", the place where these writers met and where The Atlantic Monthly was first published.[208] In 1852, the Boston Public Library was founded as the first free library in the United States.[207] Boston's literary culture continues today thanks to the city's many universities and the Boston Book Festival.

Music is afforded a high degree of civic support in Boston. The Boston Symphony Orchestra is one of the "Big Five", a group of the greatest American orchestras, and the classical music magazine Gramophone called it one of the "world's best" orchestras.[209] Symphony Hall (west of Back Bay) is home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the related Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, which is the largest youth orchestra in the nation, and to the Boston Pops Orchestra. The British newspaper The Guardian called Boston Symphony Hall "one of the top venues for classical music in the world", adding "Symphony Hall in Boston was where science became an essential part of concert hall design".[210] Other concerts are held at the New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall. The Boston Ballet performs at the Boston Opera House. Other performing-arts organizations in the city include the Boston Lyric Opera Company, Opera Boston, Boston Baroque (the first permanent Baroque orchestra in the US),[211] and the Handel and Haydn Society (one of the oldest choral companies in the United States).[212] The city is a center for contemporary classical music with a number of performing groups, several of which are associated with the city's conservatories and universities. These include the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Boston Musica Viva.[211] Several theaters are in or near the Theater District south of Boston Common, including the Cutler Majestic Theatre, Citi Performing Arts Center, the Colonial Theater, and the Orpheum Theatre.[213]

There are several major annual events, such as First Night which occurs on New Year's Eve, the Boston Early Music Festival, the annual Boston Arts Festival at Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, the annual Boston gay pride parade and festival held in June, and Italian summer feasts in the North End honoring Catholic saints.[214] The city is the site of several events during the Fourth of July period. They include the week-long Harborfest festivities[215] and a Boston Pops concert accompanied by fireworks on the banks of the Charles River.[216]

Several historic sites relating to the American Revolution period are preserved as part of the Boston National Historical Park because of the city's prominent role. Many are found along the Freedom Trail,[217] which is marked by a red line of bricks embedded in the ground.

The city is also home to several art museums and galleries, including the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.[218] The Institute of Contemporary Art is housed in a contemporary building designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in the Seaport District.[219] Boston's South End Art and Design District (SoWa) and Newbury St. are both art gallery destinations.[220][221] Columbia Point is the location of the University of Massac

Several historic sites relating to the American Revolution period are preserved as part of the Boston National Historical Park because of the city's prominent role. Many are found along the Freedom Trail,[217] which is marked by a red line of bricks embedded in the ground.

The city is also home to several art museums and galleries, including the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.[218] The Institute of Contemporary Art is housed in a contemporary building designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in the Seaport District.[219] Boston's South End Art and Design District (SoWa) and Newbury St. are both art gallery destinations.[220][221] Columbia Point is the location of the University of Massachusetts Boston, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, and the Massachusetts Archives and Commonwealth Museum. The Boston Athenæum (one of the oldest independent libraries in the United States),[222] Boston Children's Museum, Bull & Finch Pub (whose building is known from the television show Cheers),[223] Museum of Science, and the New England Aquarium are within the city.

Boston has been a noted religious center from its earliest days. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston serves nearly 300 parishes and is based in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross (1875) in the South End, while the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts serves just under 200 congregations, with the Cathedral Church of St. Paul (1819) as its episcopal seat. Unitarian Universalism has its headquarters in the Fort Point neighborhood. The Christian Scientists are headquartered in Back Bay at the Mother Church (1894). The oldest church in Boston is First Church in Boston, founded in 1630.[224] King's Chapel was the city's first Anglican church, founded in 1686 and converted to Unitarianism in 1785. Other churches include Christ Church (better known as Old North Church, 1723), the oldest church building in the city, Trinity Church (1733), Park Street Church (1809), Old South Church (1874), Jubilee Christian Church, and Basilica and Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help on Mission Hill (1878).[225]

Air quality in Boston is generally very good. Between 2004 and 2013, there were only four days in which the air was unhealthy for the general public, according to the EPA.[226]

Some of the cleaner energy facilities in Boston include the Allston green district, with three ecologically compatible housing facilities.[227] Boston is also breaking ground on multiple green affordable housing facilities to help reduce the carbon impact of the city while simultaneously making these initiatives financially available to a greater population. Boston's climate plan is updated every three years and was most recently modified in 2013. This legislatu

Some of the cleaner energy facilities in Boston include the Allston green district, with three ecologically compatible housing facilities.[227] Boston is also breaking ground on multiple green affordable housing facilities to help reduce the carbon impact of the city while simultaneously making these initiatives financially available to a greater population. Boston's climate plan is updated every three years and was most recently modified in 2013. This legislature includes the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance, which requires the city's larger buildings to disclose their yearly energy and water use statistics and to partake in an energy assessment every five years. These statistics are made public by the city, thereby increasing incentives for buildings to be more environmentally conscious.[228]

Mayor Thomas Menino introduced the Renew Boston Whole Building Incentive which reduces the cost of living in buildings that are deemed energy efficient. This gives people an opportunity to find housing in neighborhoods that support the environment. The ultimate goal of this initiative is to enlist 500 Bostonians to participate in a free, in-home energy assessment.[228]

Many older buildings in certain areas of Boston are supported by wooden piles driven into the area's fill; these piles remain sound if submerged in water, but are subject to dry rot if exposed to air for long periods.[229] Ground water levels have been dropping in many areas of the city, due in part to an increase in the amount of rainwater discharged directly into sewers rather than absorbed by the ground. The Boston Groundwater Trust coordinates monitoring ground water levels throughout the city via a network of public and private monitoring wells.[230] However, Boston's drinking water supply from the Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoirs[231] is one of the very few in the country so pure as to satisfy the Federal Clean Water Act without filtration.[232]

Climate change and sea level rise<

The City of Boston has developed a climate action plan covering carbon reduction in buildings, transportation, and energy use.[233] Mayor Thomas Menino commissioned the city's first Climate Action Plan in 2007, with an update released in 2011.[234] Since then, Mayor Marty Walsh has built upon these plans with further updates released in 2014 and 2019. As a coastal city built largely on fill, sea-level rise is of major concern to the city government. The latest version of the climate action plan anticipates between two and seven feet of sea-level rise in Boston by the end of the century. A separate initiative, Resilient Boston Harbor, lays out neighborhood-specific recommendations for coastal resilience.[235]

Sports

Fenway Park is the oldest professional baseball stadium still in use.

Boston has teams in the four major North American professional sports leagues plus Major League Soccer

Boston has teams in the four major North American professional sports leagues plus Major League Soccer, and, as of 2019, has won 39 championships in these leagues. It is one of eight cities (along with Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Washington) to have won championships in all four major American sports leagues. It has been suggested[236][237][238] that Boston is the new "TitleTown, USA", as the city's professional sports teams have won twelve championships since 2001: Patriots (2001, 2003, 2004, 2014, 2016 and 2018), Red Sox (2004, 2007, 2013, and 2018), Celtics (2008), and Bruins (2011). This love of sports made Boston the United States Olympic Committee's choice to bid to hold the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, but the city cited financial concerns when it withdrew its bid on July 27, 2015.[239]

The Boston Red Sox, a founding member of the American League of Major League Baseball in 1901, play their home games at Fenway Park, near Kenmore Square, in the city's Fenway section. Built in 1912, it is the oldest sports arena or stadium in active use in the United States among the four major professional American sports leagues, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League.[240] Boston was the site of the first game of the first modern World Series, in 1903. The series was played between the AL Champion Boston Ame

The Boston Red Sox, a founding member of the American League of Major League Baseball in 1901, play their home games at Fenway Park, near Kenmore Square, in the city's Fenway section. Built in 1912, it is the oldest sports arena or stadium in active use in the United States among the four major professional American sports leagues, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League.[240] Boston was the site of the first game of the first modern World Series, in 1903. The series was played between the AL Champion Boston Americans and the NL champion Pittsburgh Pirates.[241][242] Persistent reports that the team was known in 1903 as the "Boston Pilgrims" appear to be unfounded.[243] Boston's first professional baseball team was the Red Stockings, one of the charter members of the National Association in 1871, and of the National League in 1876. The team played under that name until 1883, under the name Beaneaters until 1911, and under the name Braves from 1912 until they moved to Milwaukee after the 1952 season. Since 1966 they have played in Atlanta as the Atlanta Braves.[244]

The TD Garden, formerly called the FleetCenter and built to replace the old, since-demolished Boston Garden, is adjoined to North Station and is the home of two major league teams: the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League and the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association. The arena seats 18,624 for basketball games and 17,565 for ice hockey games. The Bruins were the first American member of the National Hockey League and an Original Six franchise.[245] The Boston Celtics were founding members of the Basketball Association of America, one of the two leagues that merged to form the NBA.[246] The Celtics, along with the Los Angeles Lakers, have the distinction of having won more championships than any other NBA team, both with seventeen.[247] The venue is also set to host the 2020 Laver Cup, an international men's tennis tournament consisting of two teams: Team Europe and Team World, the latter of which consisting of non-European players. This will be the 4th edition of the tournament, and the first time Boston has hosted an ATP tournament since 1999, where Marat Safin defeated Greg Rusedski.[248]

While they have played in suburban Foxborough since 1971, the New England Patriots of the National Football League were founded in 1960 as the Boston Patriots, changing their name after relocating. The team won the Super Bowl after the 2001, 2003, 2004, 2014, 2016 and 2018 seasons.[249] They share Gillette Stadium with the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer. The Boston Breakers of Women's Professional Soccer, which formed in 2009, played their home games at Dilboy Stadium in Foxborough since 1971, the New England Patriots of the National Football League were founded in 1960 as the Boston Patriots, changing their name after relocating. The team won the Super Bowl after the 2001, 2003, 2004, 2014, 2016 and 2018 seasons.[249] They share Gillette Stadium with the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer. The Boston Breakers of Women's Professional Soccer, which formed in 2009, played their home games at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville.[250] The Boston Storm of the United Women's Lacrosse League was formed in 2015.[251]

The area's many colleges and universities are active in college athletics. Four NCAA Division I members play in the area—Boston College, Boston University, Harvard University, and Northeastern University. Of the four, only Boston College participates in college football at the highest level, the Football Bowl Subdivision. Harvard participates in the second-highest level, the Football Championship Subdivision. The Boston Cannons of the MLL play at Harvard Stadium.

One of the best known sporting events in the city is the Boston Marathon, the 26.2-mile (42.2 km) race which is the world's oldest annual marathon,[252] run on Patriots' Day in April. On April 15, 2013, two explosions killed three people and injured hundreds at the marathon.[89] Another major annual event is the Head of the Charles Regatta, held in October.Boston Marathon, the 26.2-mile (42.2 km) race which is the world's oldest annual marathon,[252] run on Patriots' Day in April. On April 15, 2013, two explosions killed three people and injured hundreds at the marathon.[89] Another major annual event is the Head of the Charles Regatta, held in October.[253]

Boston Common, near the Financial District and Beacon Hill, is the oldest public park in the United States.[254] Along with the adjacent Boston Public Garden, it is part of the Emerald Necklace, a string of parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted to encircle the city. The Emerald Necklace includes Jamaica Pond, Boston's largest body of freshwater, and Franklin Park, the city's largest park and home of the Franklin Park Zoo.[255] Another major park is the Esplanade, along the banks of the Charles River. The Hatch Shell, an outdoor concert venue, is adjacent to the Charles River Esplanade. Other parks are scattered throughout the city, with major parks and beaches near Castle Island, in Charlestown and along the Dorchester, South Boston, and East Boston shorelines.[256]

Boston's park system is well-reputed nationally. In its 2013 ParkScore ranking, The Trust for Public Land reported Boston was tied with Sacramento and San Francisco for having the third-best park system among the 50 most populous US cities.[257] ParkScore ranks city park systems by a formula that analyzes the city's median park size, park acres as percent of city area, the percent of residents within a half-mile of a park, spending of park services per resident, and the number of playgrounds per 10,000 residents.

Government and politics