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  • Writer's pictureLloyd Brown

JetBlue Park – Boston Red Sox Spring Training


Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00

JetBlue Park 11581 Daniels Pkwy Fort Myers, FL 33913

Year Opened: 2012 Capacity: 10,823

 

Red Sox Are Flying First Class


JetBlue Park at Fenway South (we will use JetBlue Park for brevity’s sake) opened in 2012 as a replacement for the Red Sox's longtime home at City of Palms Park. City of Palms Park did not offer the ability to have both the game stadium and the training facility at the same site. The Red Sox training facility now surrounds the 11,000-seat JetBlue Stadium, offering six different practice fields.


JetBlue’s playing field replicates the exact dimensions of Fenway Park… 310’ to left field, 379’ to left center, 420’ to deep center, and 380’ to right field. It also has its own Green Monster in left field. These identical settings help prepare the Red Sox players for the conditions they will face in home games during the regular season.


Food & Beverage 5

Unlike most spring training ballparks, JetBlue Park offers a great selection of food and beverages before you even enter the park gates. It’s their way of recreating the Yawkey Way feel at the Red Sox spring training home. Yawkey Way becomes Fenway South Drive with a menu geared to remind you of New England. In the first food tent, you’ll find Rib City BBQ, Pinchers Crab Shack which offers your favorite crab rolls and crab nachos, as well as Grouper sandwiches and Grouper tacos. Dutchkinz is also on hand, as it offers some great beignets. Finally, Taste of Fenway South offers lobster rolls and Fenway franks.


Once inside JetBlue Park, most of your food and beverage choices will consist of traditional stadium favorites. Home Plate Pizza offers up pizza slices ($6), a Wally Bowl of ice cream ($8), chips ($2.75), and candy ($2.50). The 3rd Base Grill serves chicken tenders ($10), Italian sausages ($7.25), cheeseburgers ($7.25), jumbo hot dogs ($6), and French fries ($6.50). The Fenway South stand carries pizza slices ($6), meatball sandwiches ($8.50), pretzels ($5), cotton candy ($3), and milkshakes ($6). Taste of Fenway takes you back to BAH-STON, with a set of Bay State favorites, including lobster rolls ($20), Fenway franks ($5), ice cream helmets ($5.50), and popcorn ($7.50).


All stands serve Coca-Cola brand sodas for $7. Bottled water is $5. The beer selection will differ from stand to stand.


Atmosphere 5

The designers of JetBlue Park have done a great job of bringing all the things that make Fenway special into a stadium that also needs to take the Florida heat and sun into account. Before you even enter the stadium, you’ll see the familiar statue of Ted Williams that stood at the City of Palms Stadium. Nearby you’ll see a set of numbers on the Hall of Fame Plaza. These numbers belonged to an elite set of Red Sox players, who had their numbers retired after their playing days were over. They belonged to Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Joe Cronin, Johnny Pesky, Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice, Carlton Fisk, and Jackie Robinson, whose number was retired throughout baseball.


Once inside the park, you will continue to see the things that make Fenway Park special. You have the Green Monster on left and the Pesky Pole along the right field foul line. You’ll also notice the unique “triangle” in right field that makes it so difficult for visiting players to play a ball off the wall. If you are sitting in the right-field bleachers you’ll notice a single red stadium seat sitting by itself, well beyond the outfield wall. This seat represents the distance from home plate that the longest home run ever hit in Fenway Park traveled, courtesy of Ted Williams's bat.


Neighborhood 3

Hurricane Ian caused catastrophic damage in the Ft. Myers area. Despite its distance from the coast, JetBlue Park suffered damage to its signage, light poles, and padding along the walls. All of that damage was repaired well before the spring training season began. However, many parts of Ft. Myers have still not recovered. Before you head out to a restaurant or attraction in the area, it is a good idea to call ahead and make sure it is open.

The immediate space around the Red Sox training facility is being reserved for future development. There are several restaurants lining Daniels Parkway. Fort Myers Brewing Company is a postgame hotspot, as it is only 1.5 miles from the ballpark. Fat Katz Sports Bistro offers another popular postgame site that is especially popular with Red Sox fans.


One non-sports attraction in the Ft Myers area is the Edison- Firestone Estate. Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone both had winter homes in Ft. Myers. They are virtually next door to each other. They provide a terrific look into the lifestyles of the rich and famous of yesteryear, but they also provide you with a look at the other inventions Edison created beside the light bulb.


Fans 4

Depending on who you talk to, Boston Red Sox fans are either the most obnoxious, conceited fans ever…...or the most knowledgeable, loyal fans in the world. All we know is that half of the Bay State comes to Florida for Red Sox spring training. A ticket to a game at JetBlue Park is by far the hottest ticket in the Grapefruit League. Maybe it’s the stadium…. maybe it’s the food…. All we know is the stadium is packed for every game.


There’s no need to worry that the JetBlue ushers and vendors won’t understand your New England accent here…... most of them are retirees from the New England states who moved down to Florida to escape from the region’s harsh winters!


The portion of the crowd that didn’t fly down from Massachusetts to catch a few games…. are the locals from Ft. Myers… who decided to retire from their jobs in Massachusetts…and picked Ft. Myers because it is the longtime spring training home of the Red Sox! It also explains why they did not retire to Tampa…. home of the Yankees' spring training facility!


Access 4

JetBlue Park is very easy to get to as it is less than 2 miles from I-75. It is also less than a mile from the Southwest Florida International Airport if you are flying in from out of state.


Gates at JetBlue Park open two hours prior to the first pitch. This leaves you plenty of time to check out the stadium.


Return on Investment 3

JetBlue Park has a wide variety of price points as far as tickets. Due to the popularity of the Red Sox, the tickets are much more expensive than at neighboring Grapefruit League ballparks.


Tickets are broken down into Grandstand and Box seats. Grandstand seats are further from the field, while boxes tend to be at field level. The cheapest seats are atop the Green Monster and are considered SRO ($15). The Bleacher seats beyond the right field wall are $19. The Grandstand seats in the right field and along the first baseline are $20. Grandstand seats in the infield are $35, while Grandstand seats behind home plate are $38. Right field and first baseline box seats cost $39. Box seats behind home plate are the most expensive at $68.

Oddly enough, some of the hardest tickets to get are amongst the cheapest seats in JetBlue Park. Seats inside the Green Monster are only $35. However, there are only three rows of seats inside it. The area on top of the Green Monster is even cheaper, at $15. However, these are “standing room only” and are limited for safety reasons.


Parking at JetBlue Park is $12 in the East and West Lots nearest the ballpark. Credit cards only for payment.


Extras 4

In keeping with Fenway tradition, JetBlue Park has a singalong of “Sweet Caroline” in the middle of the eighth inning. When the Red Sox wins the game, “Dirty Water” is played.


JetBlue Park is only 6 miles from Hammond Park, the spring training home of the Minnesota Twins. This allows you to get in a day/night doubleheader if you are trying to see as many spring training stadiums as possible during your visit.


The scoreboard at the base of the Green Monster has quite a history with the Red Sox. You will notice the number on the scoreboard has to be hand changed at the end of every half-inning by a stadium worker. This very scoreboard was used at Fenway Park before 1934 when it was taken out and replaced by an electronic board.


One thing that will not remind you of Fenway Park is the roof at JetBlue Park. It is very modern, with several wing-like sections. The reason for this roof design is simple…. It provides the most shade from the sun of any stadium in the Grapefruit League. The wings also allow the breeze to get under the roof to cool off the fans sitting in the stands.


Final Thoughts

JetBlue Park has received great reviews for its architectural design, which helps to keep the fans out of the sun and as cool as possible during the springtime afternoons in Florida. It has also been applauded for including the many quirks of Fenway Park in its design. Still, others love the New England cuisine available inside and outside the stadium. Whatever the reason, we must agree that JetBlue Park is a great place to watch a game.

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