As an architecture buff, I would be remiss to not write a post about some of the features of Fenway South, even though the preseason is one week from its inevitable conclusion.
I believe everyone already knows that JetBlue Park was built to replicate the same dimensions and on-field specifications as Fenway Park, such as the Green Monster, South in left field, and the center field spanning the full 420 feet from home plate just like in Boston. Notable on the aesthetics side are the stands. The canopies, which provide shade, are said to echo a popular Southern Florida landscape feature, the cypress tree. Others whom have seen the ballpark from the outside report that it looks like the Sydney Opera House in Australia, because of the undulating, white structural design. I think someone got carried away with this characterization.
Before entering the facility, there is a sculpture park of Red Sox retired numbers. A duplicate statue of Ted Williams that stands outside Fenway Park in Boston is also installed. Walkways with concessions and a focus on interactive fan experience have also been reported.
JetBlue Park also boasts the best training facilities for player development and space for companies and corporations to hold conferences for up to 5,000 people according to the Red Sox website. The park is accessible year round.
Populous, the architecture firm that drew up the renderings for the ballpark also did other well-known stadiums and ballparks, such as Wembley Stadium in the UK. They know what they are doing, and seem to be the go-to guys for a top-notch facility, based on a quick perusal of their website.
I look forward to attending the final two games of spring training to be played at JetBlue Park this year, its second year open for operation. Ticket prices are a bit higher than most of the other Grapefruit League ballparks, but hey, from what I can tell, it is worth it. After all, we are the Red Sox and it is a fairly new facility. This park makes Ft. Myers a bit more of a tourist destination. Farmers markets and events take place around the park, adding life and money to the local economy. People who work at JetBlue Park give back to the community just like their counterparts at Fenway. I am always happy to see companies, and the people that work within them, give back to their communities.
All of this is good news for permanent residents of the area and for Red Sox fans around the world.