Opinion: Frozen Fenway Misses The Mark

I remember first hearing of Frozen Fenway. It was the first or second week of college, and I could not wait to get my hands on a pair of tickets. Except, I soon found out that Boston College was scheduled to play against Notre Dame on Jan. 4, eight days before students even returned to school.

But BC students weren't the only ones to have this dilemma; in fact, all colleges participating in Frozen Fenway weren't scheduled to return to classes until after the games.

Looking back at the organization of this event, you have to ask yourself: “What was Fenway Sports Management thinking?” Why would they not make this unique opportunity available to the hundreds of college kids who would buy tickets? Most people, including myself, would be dying to enter the historic ballpark again after the Red Sox’ recent success. It may suck to BU, but we are all Bostonians, cheering on our Sox. I think Fenway Sports Management missed the mark in attempting to maximize the profitability and capability of Frozen Fenway.

Last week, 20,000 gallons of tap water were dumped onto the University of Michigan’s football stadium to create a rink that hosted the NHL's annual Winter Classic. Despite facing sub-20-degree weather, a big turnout was expected. The hype was met as 105,491 hockey fans came out to make it the greatest attendance in hockey history. That being said, the Toronto Maple Leafs faced the Detroit Red Wings, two much more popular teams than any playing at Fenway. So besides the expected family and friends of the players, and the random attendance of ambitious students prepared to combat the weather, who could have been expected to go to Fenway?

One could argue that it would make sense to travel back to Boston and move in a few days early, but January 4th to January 12th is too big of a gap before the beginning of second semester.

Johnny Gaudreau had a pair of goals, one of them sealing the win. Sophomore Brendan Silk sparked the Eagles’ lead with an easy tap-in after a deflection off of ND goalie Steven Summerhayes. Senior Bill Arnold had a tricky no-looker assist to Gaudreau behind ND’s defense to secure a 2-0 advantage. ND caught up once more to make it 3-all, but Johnny Hockey put the Eagles ahead (for good) by securing his 16th career game-winning goal. And most of us--a great majority of the BC student body--missed out on the opportunity to see any of it.

BC and BU clash in Conte Forum several times during the season, drawing massive home crowds of SuperFans and alumni alike. Photo courtesy of Emily Akin / Gavel Media.

BC and BU clash in Conte Forum several times during the season, drawing massive home crowds of SuperFans and alumni alike. Photo courtesy of Emily Akin / Gavel Media.

What does not make sense to me is why Frozen Fenway was not postponed until Martin Luther King Weekend. This seems like a perfect window for college students as well as the residents of Boston. Kids would be getting back into the swing of things, and they would have a tournament at Fenway to look forward to.

We must also take into consideration that Frozen Fenway could have taken place during one of the easiest, most relaxing times of the semester: the first week. Granted, we are not blessed with a true syllabus week like many schools, yet I think that we can all agree that the first week of classes of the semester are not difficult. So with no worries about a crazy workload assigned by professors, students would have been more than likely to spend their free time at Frozen Fenway, having a blast with their friends after a very long holiday break.

It is a shame that Fenway Sports Management did not realize nor seize the opportunity of making Frozen Fenway available to its primary fan base (us). I am sure that many fellow Eagles are disappointed that they were not given a convenient time for supporting our hockey players, as they probably skated in a once-in-a-lifetime experience. If BC Men’s Hockey could have played in the heart of Boston to a sea of fellow Eagles, it would have been a lifelong memory.

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