Polar Park

From BR Bullpen

Polar Park, in Worcester, MA, is the home of the Worcester Red Sox, the Boston Red Sox' Triple-A International League farm team. It was also the Red Sox' 2021 Coronavirus pandemic alternate training site.

At $157 million, it displaced two-year-old Las Vegas Ballpark as the minors' most expensive playpen. Local seltzer distributor Polar Beverage owns naming rights and its chief executive officer joined the WooSox ownership group.

When the Pawtucket Red Sox were sold after long-time owner Ben Mondor died, McCoy Stadium was nearly 75 years old. The new owners tried to get first the city of Providence, RI, and then Pawtucket, RI to build a new ballpark. When neither happened, Worcester invited the club to New England's second-largest city via a postcard campaign. The July 2019 groundbreaking aimed for a 2021 opening, and the pandemic only briefly halted construction.

Polar Park opened, limited by pandemic restrictions, to 2,377; 6,442 attended its first no-limit date; two rehabbing BoSox players drew the house baseball record during its inaugural season, 9,508, as pitcher Chris Sale started and won while second baseman Marwin Gonzalez homered. It appears the WooSox will report all sellouts as that figure.

In at least 2022, Polar Park also hosted the "Cape Cod Classic" as the WooSox took a page from the Double-A Hartford Yard Goats. The July 25th game pitted the CCL's Wareham Gatemen against the Bourne Braves. The Goats started hosting a CCL game every year, except for two lost to the pandemic, in 2018.

Playing on an inside-baseball joke, Polar's foul poles are each labeled "FAIR POLE" - the joke being that, because a batted ball that hits a foul line (or, therefore, pole) is fair, they should be called the fair lines.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Neil deMause: "Worcester stadium hits $157m, is now the most expensive minor-league park of all time", Field of Schemes, January 11, 2021. [1]

Related Sites[edit]

Current ballparks in the International League
Southeast Division Midwest Division Northeast Division
AutoZone Park | 121 Financial Ballpark | Coolray Field | Durham Bulls Athletic Park | First Horizon Park | Harbor Park | Truist Field CHS Field | Fifth Third Field | Huntington Park | Louisville Slugger Field | Principal Park | Victory Field | Werner Park Coca-Cola Park | Frontier Field | NBT Bank Stadium | PNC Field | Polar Park | Sahlen Field