Spring break just ended and now it is back to the good ole studio life. During my spring break, I traveled to Naples, Florida once more. I had traveled there this last winter break as well. The last time I went to Florida, I got to tour Marlins Park in Miami which was a wonderful starting point in my ballpark design. This visit, I got the opportunity to attend a spring training game for the Boston Red Sox.
The Boston Red Sox play in a park called JetBlue Park. This stadium, as well as the three stadia I used for my case studies (Marlins Park, Petco Park, and Busch Stadium), was designed by Populous. The park is located in Fort Meyers, Florida. The design of the ballpark was modeled as much off of Fenway Park as possible. The park included a replica of the green monster, which is the famous left field wall at Fenway Park that is closer to home plate that resulted in a higher wall. It also strived to replicate the street atmosphere that Fenway is famous for as well. It has one street that pedestrians walk on in front of the park which is full of street vendors and included tents dedicated to certain eateries and also includes live music. Although I have never been to Fenway, I would imagine it is similar to what I experienced but at a greater scale. The design also included a canopy, which provides the seats with shade that was designed to resemble the cypress tree domes that surrounds the park. When I looked at the canopy, before I knew what it was designed after, I knew it was representing something but it was not obvious to me what it was.
One other thing that I noticed as I went to the game is that the amount of people that attended just a regular spring training game was incredible. I would say the amount of people is equal, if not greater than, the amount of people at a Chicago White Sox game during the regular season. I know that the fan base of the Red Sox is much bigger than the Red Sox, but it was surprising to see the amount of people. Most of the people were even from Massachusetts.
Although the ballpark that I am designing for my thesis project is a Major League stadium, it was helpful to see this stadium and get an idea of the scale that these stadia are at. Aside from getting extremely sunburnt, I enjoyed the atmosphere it created.