The Sox may be slumping into oblivion, but Boston faithful will get at least one big hit this February after United States Ski and Snowboard Association officials announced that Fenway Park will play host to a U.S. Grand Prix big air contest. The urban ski event, slated to go off February 11-12 is the first of its kind for the Grand Prix, and represents a much-needed stop for skiers and snowboarders on the East Coast.
"Our intentions are to stage the biggest and best big-air competition in the history of the sport at Fenway Park," said U.S.S.A. CMO, Mike Jaquet, according to Sports Business Daily.
Fenway Park’s capacity is set at 37,673 (and one Green Monster), and while some of those seats might not be available because of the course layout, there is potential for Jaquet’s vision to play out in a big way. Additionally, with over 40 colleges and universities in the metropolitan area, the event would be hard-pressed to pick a better place to tap into its young East Coast market.
The U.S.S.A. rep and co-founder of Freeze Magazine also told NBC Sports that the course calls for a 110-foot-tall in-ramp that starts in center field and a landing zone that ends at home plate (for perspective, the Green Monster is 37 feet tall).
The stadium venue brings back the golden memories of San Francisco’s Icer Air, a popular big air contest held at Candlestick Park throughout the 2000s. It is also a painful reminder that despite adding a Grand Prix, big air skiing will not be making its debut in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang with big air snowboarding—a decision announced earlier this summer.
Olympics or not, this week’s announcement poises big air to take over Lansdowne Street this winter, bringing some of freeskiing’s best to one of the most iconic stadiums in sports. Hey IOC, how you like them apples?