Skiing comes to famous baseball park
Skiing comes to famous baseball park A ramp constructed for the Big Air at Fenway skiing and snowboarding U.S. Grand Prix tour event is covered in snow at Fenway Park, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Skiing comes to famous baseball park
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Olympic silver medalist Devin Logan pictured herself standing atop the 140-foot ski jump that towers over Fenway Park's Green Monster, hitting her jump and then coming to a stop right about where a batter would stand.
"Sliding into home plate. Coming in safe. Hearing the crowd cheer like I just hit a grand slam," she said before practicing for a freestyle skiing and snowboarding jumpfest at the home of the Boston Red Sox. "It's gonna be sick."
The baseball park that John Updike lauded as a "lyric little bandbox" was totally tricked out -- Dude! -- for Big Air at Fenway.  The event was held Feb. 11 and 12.   A concert stage was where third base would be.  The Red Sox batting cage was converted to a room for waxing and tuning skis. And, of course, a 14-story ramp was right in the middle of the snow-covered diamond.
More than 75 athletes from 25 countries were competing in men's and women's snowboarding and freeskiing. It's part of an attempt to bring the sport down from the mountain and into cities. The idea is for more people to be able to enjoy seeing it. There are about a handful of Big Air events each year now on ramps made of scaffolding. That is according to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.
"Putting this stadium inside Fenway Park is a bodacious, bodacious concept," said Calum Clark. He is a vice president of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.
"It's not too often that we get to ski in urban environments," Olympic slopestyle gold medalist Joss Christensen said. He signed his name inside the Green Monster scoreboard and looked around the visitor's clubhouse when he went to check out the site. "Usually we spend a lot of time up in the mountains, away from cities. It's huge for us to be able to show people what we do."
Snowboarder Ty Walker said she had been to Fenway for baseball games, including Derek Jeter's finale, a Goo Goo Dolls concert and most recently the Boston College-Notre Dame football game. She won a gold medal at a World Cup Big Air in Istanbul in 2014.  She remembers hearing the crowd cheering all the way up at the top of the ramp.
"There's going to be 20,000 people here," said Walker.  She grew up in Vermont. "To think of that in a place that so much has happened, to hear people I know cheering me on is very special to me."
Practice on a windless and cloudy afternoon coincided with "Truck Day" at Fenway. A few dozen Red Sox fans stood behind barriers outside the ballpark. They were there to watch the team's equipment loaded for the trip to spring training in Fort Myers, Florida. It's an odd tradition. But one that signals the impending arrival of spring for those who have run out of patience with the ice and snow.
Inside the ballpark, though, winter was still being celebrated.
A light dusting added a touch of natural snow to the tons of man-made stuff that was lifted onto the ramp by a crane. It was tamped down by skiers who replaced the tractors typically used for mountain events. "Pretty sick," snowboarder Julia Marino said after she climbed the steps from the Red Sox dugout, pulled out her phone and began shooting video.
A Connecticut native and an alternate for the event, Marino said her father is a New York Yankees fan. She said he was "super-psyched" that she might get the chance to ski at Fenway. "It's insane, really," she said.
The ski ramp is just the latest addition to the ballpark's background. The century-old landmark has been drafted for duty not just for baseball and concerts and football, but also for ice hockey and soccer. In addition, after the college football game last fall -- Irish hurling will also be at Fenway.
Red Sox officials said they were relieved after watching the first snowboarder hit the jump. Organizers had been working on the event for nine months. But they couldn't be sure everything was going to work until the athletes hit the ramp.
Big Air snowboarding will debut as an Olympic sport in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018. It is part of an attempt by organizers to tap into a younger demographic with the addition of X Games-style athletics. Skiers and snowboarders say they hope events like the one at Fenway also help attract a new, bigger audience to their sport.
Putting them in the middle of a city instead of away on a mountain somewhere can't hurt.
"It's just one event. But it's an event on a 150-foot scaffolding in the middle of Fenway Park," said Gus Kenworthy. He took home a slopestyle silver medal and a family of puppies from the Sochi Olympics. "So I think it'll be OK."

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Why are promoters using a baseball park for skiing?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • tessf-6-bar
    2/24/2016 - 05:44 p.m.

    Promoters are using a baseball stadium for skiing because it allows the sport to be brought down from mountains and into the big cities for more people to enjoy. "Inside the ballpark, though, winter was still being celebrated" (paragraph 10).

    I picked this article because I love to snowboard and I am excited for snow sports to be brought to the cities where more people can enjoy them.

  • william1108-yyca
    2/24/2016 - 09:36 p.m.

    WOW! Who knew that people could ski down a baseball stadium. Or inside the baseball stadium. It must have been hard to get the snow. Also won't the snow melt fast? Maybe it won't or maybe it will.

  • melissaj-Ste
    2/24/2016 - 09:44 p.m.

    Promoters are using a baseball park for the advertising and publicity of the Big Air events. They probably could not have picked a better baseball stadium -- except maybe in New York -- because of Boston's long baseball history with the Red Sox. It's nice that they can build ramps inside of cities for people who do not want to go to a mountain, which are not always in supply as much as wide sports fields are.

  • Eric0221-YYCA
    2/24/2016 - 11:49 p.m.

    The skiing place might have been coming in to a famous baseball park which people would like to have fun skiing down the man-made slope at the snow-covered baseball diamond which people would like to go skiing at the baseball stadium. The people might have wanted to have fun at the baseball stadium if they wanted to build a slop that will be perfect for going skiing at the baseball diamond. The people might have wanted to do something fun at the baseball stadium which people would be wanting to be skiing at the baseball stadium at the man-made slope that people had made. People might have wanted to have fun doing something at the baseball stadium which people might have wanted to get other people to be having fun at the baseball stadium.
    Critical Thinking Question: Why are promoters using a baseball park for skiing?
    Answer: Because there aren't any baseball games or practice at the baseball stadium which people would build the slope to be used as skiing.

  • katherinec-3-bar
    2/25/2016 - 10:35 a.m.

    Promoters have recently started transforming baseball stabiums into an arena for snow sports. They are using baseball parks because promoters are attempting to bring skiing down to the big cities. In third to last paragraph it states ," The ski ramp is just the latest addition to the ballpark's background."

    I found this article interesting because I was unaware that skiing and snowboarding could be practiced anywhere other than the mountains.

  • olivedas0-dil
    2/25/2016 - 03:13 p.m.

    "It's part of an attempt to bring the sport down from the mountain and into cities." How much money does it cost to do an event like this in such a strange area? Do people have to buy tickets because it is in a baseball stadium? These questions are what I am thinking about since it is in a urban area.

  • austinm-kut
    2/25/2016 - 06:15 p.m.

    This looks so cool! I wish i could go and see any of those sports, except Irish hurling. That sounds wierd, Irish people gagiing, uhhhh. :P

  • aidenk-dal
    2/25/2016 - 07:52 p.m.

    I think that doing this skiing would be so cool! It sounds interesting. I like to snowboard and I like baseball.

    I think the coolest part is it would be like sliding into home base at a game with the major league teams. I couldn't help but to be jealous of these people and the opportunity that they received. I would give a lot of things to be on that hill, even if I were to fall, it would be an exciting and thrilling thing to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • collinf-2-bar
    2/25/2016 - 08:53 p.m.

    Promoters are using a baseball park for skiing because "events like the one at Fenway also help attract a new, bigger audience to [skiing]." Also, being in the city will allow more people to see the event.

    I found this article interesting because, just like Ty Walker, I have been to baseball games at Fenway, and the Notre Dame vs. Boston College football game.

  • maxwellt-2-bar
    2/25/2016 - 09:44 p.m.

    They are using a ballpark for skiing because the combination of baseball and skiing is something that appeals "to a younger demographic". The appeal of younger viewers would get more people to watch baseball, also. This article intrigued me because I like skiing and baseball.

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