Worcester Red Sox (Triple-A East) principal owner Larry Lucchino unveiled Polar Park in the midst of the pandemic. Despite that, he views 2021 as a success and is already looking forward to upgrading operations for 2022.
This season saw a whole slew of new and renovated ballparks, which will make for a nice series of season wrap-ups and awards. One of the highest-profile debuts was Polar Park, serving as the home of the WooSox after the team’s move from Pawtucket. At a cost of at least $159 million — a price tag applied at the season opener — and with the likes of Janet Marie Smith involved on the design side, Polar Park was bound to attract a lot of attention.
Add Larry Lucchino to that mix (his ballpark pedigree includes work on Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Petco Park and Fenway Park upgrades), and you have some news. So when Lucchino steps back to evaluate 2021, it’s worth noting. Like many facilities, Polar Park opened this season with capacity restrictions, so the season-ending numbers (362,559 total fans for an average of 6,145 fans per game) may not be that impressive at first glance. Still, Lucchino calls the season a success and is already looking forward to 2022, per the Worcester Telegram:
“It was a wonderful season,” Lucchino said. “It exceeded our expectations with both Worcester and the ballpark in our inaugural season. We’re really pleased and proud with what has happened here.”
As Lucchino watched the Final Day celebration unfold, he quickly thought about how he and his team can make the experience better at Polar Park. He said changes and upgrades are coming for 2022 and beyond and security, safety and cleanliness are paramount.
“While the season is finished, and the first iteration of the ballpark is now finished, we can change it, modify it and fine tune it to in ways to make it new and fresh for next year,” Lucchino said.
And, of course, next year will be the first chance to put the facility through all its paces at full capacity.
Photo courtesy Worcester Red Sox.