JetBlue Park is officially open for business. The new spring training home of the Boston Red Sox was shown off to the media on Friday, and it looks an awful lot like Fenway Park, the true home of the Sox on Yawkey Way in Boston. Of course, there's a reason for that.
The stadium was built as a replica of Fenway Park, with the dimensions matching that of Fenway. It even has the legendary Green Monster out in left field. It's brilliant when you think about it. Why have your players get used to a different park for over a month, only to have to readjust themselves to Fenway once they return at the season's start? Very smart.
Just like Fenway, it's 310 feet down the left field line, 379 to left-center, 420 feet to center, 380 feet to the right field bullpen and 302 feet to the right field pole. In left field, there is the Green Monster, standing at 37 feet tall. Also, the wall features a restored version of an original manual scoreboard that had been kept inside Fenway for years unused.
JetBlue Park will officially open on March 3, 2012, when the Red Sox host Northeastern and Boston College in their first games at the new stadium. Construction began on March 3, 2011, and the stadium cost $77.9 million and has a capacity of 10,823. Manhattan Kraft Construction is the name of the stadium's general contractor. Planning on driving down to spring training? We hope you are, but you will need an address to plug into your GPS. JetBlue Park is located at 11581 Daniels Parkway, Fort Myers, FL, 33913.
Prior to inhabiting JetBlue Park, the Red Sox most recently played their spring training home games at City Of Palms Park, which is also in Fort Myers, FL. There were rumors that the Baltimore Orioles would move into City Of Palms Park in the Sox' absence, but the franchise declined the opportunity to move.
A new park for a new season with plenty of new faces. Doesn't get more exciting than that.
For more Red Sox Spring Training 2012 coverage, follow our StoryStream. Also visit our team page and blog, Over The Monster, as well as our baseball hub, Baseball Nation.