Here’s another argument for northern MLB and MiLB teams to construct hockey rinks in the dead of winter: the economic impact of Frozen Fenway, the winter extravaganza in Boston, was a cool $28.8 million.
The Red Sox installed an ice sheet on the Fenway Park field and scheduled various high school and college hockey games along with open skates for Boston residents. Over 10,000 fans attended the open skates, while 80,000 tickets were sold for the games. This level of attendance led to a valuation of the total spending impact for the city and the region of an estimated $28.8 million, according to the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“The Sun Life Frozen Fenway games and events helped provide our Boston economy with a good start in 2012,” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “We thank Fenway Sports Management and the Red Sox for organizing such a successful event that not only provided a fun winter activity for families from Boston and around New England, but also helped generate millions for our area businesses.”
Of the total $28.8 million generated for Boston’s visitor industry, $17.9 million came from direct spending, and another $10.9 from indirect spending. The majority of the total spending – roughly 83 percent – came from the two, main weekend games on January 7 and 14, matching four New England state college hockey teams and four long-time Boston rivals on both the high school and collegiate level.
“An event like the Sun Life Frozen Fenway games has a huge impact on our visitor industry, helping drive business during a time that is generally slow for travel and tourism in Boston,” said Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau President/CEO Pat Moscaritolo. “The direct spending from fans in our area restaurants, hotels and retail shops alone is significant, but we also saw a huge boost from indirect spending on ancillary services and staff needed to help support the visitor demand during this time.”
Despite the good news out of Boston, the economic news this winter for baseball teams was mixed. The Cleveland Indians say they lost money on Snow Days at Progressive Field and are reevaluating whether to bring it back next winter; ironically, the lack of snow in the Cleveland area this winter helped keep fans away from the ballpark, although over 26,000 paid to see a Ohio State hockey game. Then again, Snow Days was run differently than the way the Red Sox ran Frozen Fenway: The Indians relied on things like a skating oval and a ski jump, while the Red Sox stressed sporting events, as did the Philadephia Phillies while hosting the NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park.
RELATED STORIES: Let it snow: hockey at a ballpark near you; Frozen Fenway returns in 2012; Indians extend Snow Days promotion with Buckeyes-Wolverines hockey bash; Avista Stadium prepped for outdoor hockey game
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