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Fenway Park Embraces Pickleball as the Sport’s Popularity Soars

by Gabriel Martinez
5 comments
Fenway Park Pickleball Event

Pickleball, a fusion of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, has made its way into the big leagues.

On Tuesday, Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, was transformed with pickleball courts in anticipation of a weekend where fans can witness professional play or even try the game for themselves within the legendary outfield.

“Pickleball, the fastest growing sport in the U.S., is not just being played anywhere—it’s being played within the confines of Fenway,” said Pickle4 America President Ben Weinberger during an interview conducted at the location typically occupied by the Red Sox right fielder. “In the coming four days, we’ll be welcoming hundreds of amateur athletes. To provide them the chance to step on this field, as we are doing now, feels extraordinary.”

The Pickle4 Ballpark Series, scheduled from Wednesday to Sunday, will feature an exhibition game involving top-ranked players from the Professional Pickleball Association Tour. Spectator tickets start at just $10. Moreover, amateur players of all skill levels can book time on one of the twelve courts for $200 per person, which also includes a racket.

Weinberger shared that the spots, initially planned for four days, filled so rapidly that a fifth day was added, which also sold out. After Boston, the same event will be replicated at the San Francisco Giants’ Oracle Park.

“We want to ensure everyone who wishes to play can participate,” Weinberger stated, also mentioning a free kids clinic with professional players. “Our goal is to offer the pickleball community this remarkable opportunity and the array of experiences that come with it.”

Fenway Park, the oldest ballpark in the major leagues and home to the Red Sox since 1912, has frequently been used for other sports, including NFL and college football, boxing, soccer, and hockey.

Under the current ownership since 2002, Fenway has hosted diverse events such as ski jumping, ice skate racing, Top Golf, obstacle course races, Irish hurling, Shakespeare in the Park, movies, and over 100 concerts.

This winter, the park welcomed more than 120,000 visitors for offseason events, despite the Red Sox not making the postseason, and thousands more toured Fenway, making it one of the top attractions in New England.

Mark Lev, the president of Fenway Sports Management, said, “While baseball is at the heart of all we do, diversifying its use for other events is a great thing.”

Pickleball, played as singles or doubles on a smaller-scale tennis court, is a fast-paced game that requires less running than tennis. The game was created in 1965 by vacationers in Washington state and gained massive popularity during the pandemic, becoming a go-to sport for quarantiners due to its minimal equipment requirement.

The Fenway courts will be constructed over plywood and a layer of plastic to protect the ballpark grass, despite the sport often being played on converted tennis courts.

Lev stated that their focus remains on the baseball team, which will resume its games after the All-Star break and a six-game road trip on July 21.

“We wouldn’t be conducting this event if our groundskeeper, Dave Mellor, our most valuable player, wasn’t confident that the ballpark could be restored to a game-ready state,” said Lev.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Fenway Park Pickleball Event

What is the Pickle4 Ballpark Series?

The Pickle4 Ballpark Series is a pickleball event scheduled to run from Wednesday to Sunday. It will feature an exhibition game with top-ranked players from the Professional Pickleball Association Tour and provide amateur players an opportunity to play on the field.

Where is the Pickle4 Ballpark Series being held?

The event is being held at Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox. After Boston, a similar event is planned at the San Francisco Giants’ Oracle Park.

How can I participate in the Pickle4 Ballpark Series?

You can participate in the Pickle4 Ballpark Series by booking time on one of the twelve courts for $200 per person. This fee also includes a racket for you to play with. Additionally, there will be a free kids clinic with professional players.

What is pickleball?

Pickleball is a hybrid sport combining elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It can be played as singles or doubles on a court that resembles a smaller-scale tennis court.

Is Fenway Park only used for baseball games?

No, while Fenway Park is primarily known as the home of the Boston Red Sox, it has hosted a diverse range of sports and events, including NFL and college football, boxing, soccer, hockey, ski jumping, ice skate racing, and even cultural events like concerts and theatre.

Will the pickleball courts affect the condition of Fenway Park’s field?

No, the organization has ensured the pickleball courts will not damage the field. The courts will be constructed over plywood and a layer of plastic designed to protect the ballpark grass.

More about Fenway Park Pickleball Event

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5 comments

BosoxBelle July 12, 2023 - 5:06 am

They’re hosting what now at Fenway? Pickleball? what the heck is that anyway, gotta go Google this, lol!

Reply
SF_Giants_Guy July 12, 2023 - 6:33 am

So they’re doin this at Oracle Park too after Fenway? That’s gonna be something to see! Hope I can get in on this action.

Reply
FenwayFanatic July 12, 2023 - 2:03 pm

I mean Fenway’s got history and all but didn’t see this one coming, pickleball really? well as long as the field stays good for baseball, im good.

Reply
MikeBballFan89 July 12, 2023 - 3:54 pm

wow pickleball at Fenway? thats wild. gotta say this sport is really blowing up, cant wait to check it out!

Reply
PicklePro66 July 13, 2023 - 12:46 am

Awesome news! Fenway hosting pickleball will give the sport such a boost, happy to see it growin so fast. can’t wait to book a spot.

Reply

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