BOSTON (CBS) – It may not happen again for 50 years in the same week.
The celebration of The Boston Marathon, a major anniversary of the Boston Red Sox and perfect early spring weather brought out the best in the region’s sports’ fans.
It was school vacation week in Massachusetts. Over 500,000 turned out to cheer on the runners in one of the hottest days of 116 Boston Marathons. Three days later over 50,000 came to the Boston Red Sox 100th anniversary open house.
Two things can be said from observing both events up close. The runners crossing the finish line relied on their cell phones to find their family and friends. Those at Fenway Park were using their phones to take pictures by the thousands.
At a luncheon the day after the marathon, a female runner from Connecticut told me that the cheering crowds were “amazing and kept me going in the heat.” Not only were the spectators using hoses to cool runners, but many also handed out ice that really saved the day and immediately cooled down the runners.
On Thursday this week as you walked up Boylston Street from the Prudential Center towards Fenway Park, a constant stream of smiling faces were headed back from Fenway having visited the 100th open house event. It was obvious that the actual anniversary would be a day later but this was the day for the fans.
Inside the park, the crowd was on its best behavior. You had to wait about 20 minutes under the bleachers to enter the track surrounding the green grass, but nobody complained.
The most popular place to visit was the seats above the Green Monster in left field. The most popular person for pictures was the Red Sox mascot, Wally The Green Monster. People wanted to touch the Pesky Pole in right field.
Under the grandstand, over 70 people were in line to express their appreciation in writing to the Red Sox. For those lucky enough to get a program, it outlined the five levels of the park and 100 interesting things to see.
The only negatives to be seen were the scoreboard that showed the standing of the American League indicating the Red Sox were in last place. The electronic sign in center field announced that tickets for games between May 1 and May 6 were available starting at $20.
Outside the park near Charlesgate East, a City of Boston tow truck hoisted a car with Connecticut plates to be retrieved later. The outside food vendors surrounding the park did not show up and missed a huge opportunity. But the MBTA was getting a huge bonus of unexpected and inexperienced riders.
Let’s hope the Red Sox make this family day an annual event.
Bob Weiss’ All Things Business Travel Report can be heard on Monday mornings on WBZ News Radio 1030.