White Monster: 5 Reasons to See the Four-Story Launch Ramp at Fenway Park
From the decades of tragic losses to the nail-biting victories that helped reverse the curse, you’d think you have seen it all at Fenway Park. Well, think again.
On February 11 and 12, Fenway Sports Management and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) are teaming up with local sponsor Polartec for “Big Air Fenway,” one of the biggest and most exciting undertakings in Fenway Park to date.
1. This ramp is seriously huge.
With a four-story ramp towering four-times over the left-field wall, the epic accomplishment has been under construction for over a month. Luckily the weather has been agreeable for building efforts.
2. It is a truly rare event.
Big Air is one of just three stops on the 2016 International Ski Federation calendar.
3. Nothing like this has ever happened at Fenway. Ever.
According to Fred Olsen, Director of Special Projects for the Boston Red Sox, “It is 155-ft tall at its highest point with a 38- to 39-degree drop where a jumper can basically jump from the infield wall to home plate. It’s going to create a great fan experience. There have been similar events in football stadiums, but to my knowledge this is the first of its kind in a baseball stadium, which gives it an added iconic type of profile for sure.”
4. Big names.
The event will feature slope-style skiing gold medalist Joss Christensen, Olympic champion snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg, and 720 savant Ty Walker. Not to mention Olympic hopefuls from all over the world.
5. Two nights of action with real stakes.
“There are about 14 countries represented,” says Eric Webster, Senior Director of Events at USSA. “There are actually 2 separate events. The one on Thursday the 11th, is a snowboarding event and Friday is a free-skiing event. They’re both international World Cup events with top-level athletes in their field. This year specifically, winners will go on to the overall World Cup Championship. Plus, men’s and women’s ‘Big Air’ snowboarding will actually be the newest Olympic sport premiering in South Korea in 2018. So snowboarding ‘Big Air’ can actually earn contestants bonus spots to allow them to compete in the Olympic event within their countries. So, in the long run, it has Olympic qualification ramifications.”
With the bleachers blocked off for obvious obstructed views and safety, an audience of over 20,000 is expected for both days.
“It’s important to present this event to people on the East Coast who have probably never seen one before,” adds Webster. “Especially since we have the largest concentration of skiers and snowboarders in the United States and it’s a great way to see these sports in an up close and personal way.”
Each night will also feature a closing musical act. Boston’s own Bad Rabbits will take the stage at 10 p.m. on 2/11, while the American Authors from NYC will bring the two-night event to a close at 10 p.m. on 2/12.
One- and two-day tickets are available at redsox.com/BigAir.
But, if for some reason you can’t fit it into your schedule, the epic spectacle will broadcast live Thursday and Friday on NBC Sports with a package deal roundup for view and highlights on Saturday. Anyway, here goes...
What do you think? Is this Fenway Park’s most exciting winter event ever?