- Dec 4, 2009
The game still counted in the standings, but the environment at the century-old ballpark on Thursday afternoon was unlike anything the Red Sox have seen before.
With dollar hot dogs, largely-reduced food prices and free tickets for children while adults could gain entry with just a $5 donation to the Jimmy Fund, Fenway Park was filled with people who might not otherwise get a chance to watch the most expensive team in baseball at one of the most expensive venues.
“It was one of the coolest atmospheres that we’ve had here,” said Brock Holt, who hit a walkoff single 12 minutes into the suspended game to capture a 5-4 win over the Royals. “Just how many people showed up and how excited they were. The music was loud pregame and everyone was dancing and seemed to be into the game.”
Watching all the children fill the park was such a success on Thursday that Red Sox president Sam Kennedy was feeling confident the club could one day soon introduce an “open house day,” when kids enter free for select games on a regular basis.
Could we have an open house day, where we put aside 10,000 to 15,000 tickets just for kids on an ongoing basis free of charge? The obvious answer is yes,” Kennedy said. “There’s a market for that. We need to challenge ourselves to see if that could be a possibility. We’ve talked about that. On lower demand games you might have an opportunity to do that. It really is an investment in the future.”
https://www.bostonherald.com/2019/08/22/red-sox-considering-a-regular-open-house-day-with-free-entry-for-kids/There were more than 16,000 folks who entered the gates (including upwards of 6,000 free tickets for children), leaving the 37,000-capacity park almost half-full with an open-seating arrangement providing a unique backdrop for players on the field.
“To me, the best crowd we had the whole year,” said third base coach Carlos Febles. “They were into the game. They were loud. That’s what you need. That’s one of the reasons the guys said, ‘Let’s do this and get out of here.’”
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I applaud Sox ownership for trying to spearhead an initiative like this. Perhaps more teams can start to do something like this. We all know that of all the major sports baseball skews the oldest. Doing something like this can hopefully plant the seed in younger fans that can turn them into lifelong baseball fans that can carry this sport for another generation.