SBD/February 20, 2012/Facilities

Red Sox' JetBlue Park Gets High Marks As Team's Fenway Park South

JetBlue Park receiving high praise before its official opening
The concept of "replicating Fenway Park but incorporating a Southwest Florida feel -- has become a living, breathing reality," as JetBlue Park will "soon be open for business," according to Ian Browne of MLB.com. The Red Sox "unveiled their plush new Spring Training facility during a tour" for Lee County officials and media members Friday. Red Sox Exec VP & COO Sam Kennedy said, "It will give a competitive advantage. That was the goal, was to get everybody together in one place -- Major Leaguers, Minor Leaguers -- and have state-of-the-art facilities. Mission accomplished, hopefully. They've still got a few things to work out, but we're almost there." Red Sox Exec VP/Business Affairs Jonathan Gilula said, "It was just a concept four years ago. To get to this point, it's so refreshing. We can't be happier about how things have turned out." Browne wrote, "Look at [the] bottom half of the Green Monster, including the scoreboard, and you'll swear you're at Fenway. But look in the middle of it, and you'll see a new touch -- there are seats with mesh netting which will keep spectators in the shade." Balls hit off that netting "will be in play, giving fans seated behind it a unique vantage point." At the "top of the Monster -- in home run territory -- there is a row of 120 barstool seats," and included on the Monster Deck is a "spacious area in which you can get a view of all six practice fields, as well as the bullpens and batting cages." Browne noted the roof "looks nothing like Fenway." It is "white and artsy, with several geometric turns" (MLB.com, 2/17).

SECOND HOME: In Boston, John Tomase wrote New Englanders "looking for a taste of summer will not be disappointed in JetBlue Park." The park "features a 37-foot wall in left field, a familiar hand-operated scoreboard, and dimensions that any Sox fan can recite in their sleep: 310 to left, 379 to left-center, 420 to the triangle, 380 to right." In addition to the park, there are "state-of-the-art training facilities." The park, which "seats nearly 11,000, sits off Daniels Parkway just minutes from Southwest Florida International Airport." It "boasts eight private suites" (BOSTON HERALD, 2/18). Also in Boston, Dan Shaughnessy wrote fans are "going to love Fenway South." Shaughnessy: "I particularly like the authentic, tinny manual scoreboard in left field" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/19).
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