Christmas At Fenway A Success

staffwriter


Some Red Sox fans get the chance to be part of a Christmas celebration at Fenway Park. Photos taken by Sara Ottomano.

By Sara Ottomano
On December 12, 2009, the seventh annual Christmas at Fenway event took place at Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox.  Around 700 people were selected to attend the event, in which they celebrated the holiday season with free merchandise, raffles, interviews with players and managers, and the opportunity to purchase Red Sox tickets for the 2010 season.  The selected people and their two guests each were allowed to preview the Second Annual Great Fenway Park Yard Sale and witness the building of the ice skating rink for the 2010 Bridgestone NHL (National Hockey League) Winter Classic.

According to Chief Operating Officer Sam Kennedy, the new ownership in 2002 helped bring the Christmas at Fenway event to life. The management sought to “open up Fenway Park for more than just eighty-four games.”  Kennedy considered the Boston Red Sox the “luckiest franchise in history” due to the more than fourteen million Red Sox fans spread across all fifty states.  The Red Sox management acknowledged that the fans are a key component to the game day atmosphere and wanted to share the holiday spirit with them.

At the event, all selected fans were guaranteed the opportunity to buy tickets for the 2010 season.  In the past, tickets were not on sale in the winter for upcoming games.  Several years ago, the decision was made to allow fans to buy tickets for Christmas presents. The selected fans were allowed to purchase up to two “Sox Pax” with up to four tickets per pack and eight single game tickets.

As the fans waited to be called to go purchase tickets, they were allowed to sign up for Red Sox Nation, write cards to soldiers in Afghanistan, buy raffle tickets, or listen to player/management interviews.  The raffle tickets available allowed fans to buy a chance to skate at Fenway, which also gave them free Red Sox wrapping paper. The Red Sox Foundation sold grab bags with assorted prizes in unlabeled brown bags. Julie Ottomano, one of the chosen participants, purchased one of the grab bags and got a “baseball signed by a previous pitcher, Brendan Donnelly.” At various tables, free products were given out including free schedules for the 2010 season, a free Boston Red Sox magazine, temporary tattoos, a Red Sox Organization wristband, and much more.

One popular table displayed the predicted layout of the skating rink put in for the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.  In the past, Fenway Park has hosted a multitude of events including “Patriot games, wrestling games, weddings, and birthdays” according to Kennedy. He stated that the motto for the Red Sox management is “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing”, so the ice skating rink is planned to be used to its full potential. It will hold the Winter Classic game between the Bruins and the Flyers as well as college hockey games. Residents of Boston are also allowed to skate free on two different days. All other fans must enter into a Red Sox Organization raffle in order to skate.

Other offers at the Christmas at Fenway event included a sneak peek at the Second Annual Great Fenway Park Yard Sale. The sale included used bats, signed baseballs, and authentic signs from Fenway Park. It was only a portion of the sale that took place on Sunday, December 13, 2009. Items sold on Sunday included Fenway Park bricks and used jerseys that were signed.

In the end, all of the “Sox Pax” were sold that day and thousands of dollars were raised for charity organizations. Due to the large success at the event, it will be continued in the future. Visit www.redsox.com for more information aon the Christmas at the Fenway event, www.boston.com for information on public skating at Fenway, and www.nhl.com for information on the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

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