MGM Springfield, MassMutual Center preparing for Red Sox Winter Weekend
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - We are just two days from thousands of people coming to downtown Springfield for the seventh annual Red Sox Winter Weekend and preparations are already underway at both the MassMutual Center and MGM Springfield.
From cables to chairs, crew members are working hard at the MassMutual Center to make sure everything is in place for Red Sox Winter Weekend. It is the first time downtown Springfield is holding this pre-spring training event since January 2020, just two months before the pandemic shutdown. MassMutual Center General Manager Sean Dolan told Western Mass News there is a lot that goes into getting ready for something of this magnitude.
“We flip the building [both sides], so really everybody coming together. A lot of work, a lot of planning, a lot of organization, and some key people on our team that really take it from the beginning and see it to the end…Right behind us, you see we’re just unloading all of the equipment right now. We’ll be putting everything together for the stage,” Dolan explained.
At least 5,000 people from across New England and the country are expected to attend the two-day event, but the MassMutual Center is not the only place where fans will be able to meet past and present players and staff. MGM Springfield Executive Director of Hospitality Chris Smigel told us there will also be activities in the casino’s ballrooms.
“We will have some events that are ticketed for autograph sessions, meet and greets, and then our regular festivities hosted with a Red Sox theme throughout the property…The hotel has been sold out for about six weeks. We saw a lot of demand in pick up once the Red Sox had announced the dates for the weekend,” Smigel explained.
Among the Red Sox players attending are just re-signed Rafael Devers, Kike Hernandez, former pitcher Pedro Martinez, and ‘Big Papi’ David Ortiz. Smigel told Western Mass News that it is important to step up to the plate and make sure the attendees, including his favorite player Tim Wakefield, are given a five-star experience.
“Lots of upkeep being done [and] a lot of maintenance being done to make sure everything is perfect for our star-studded guests,” Smigel added.
Dolan said the return of this event will be a huge economic driver for the downtown area.
“It brings people from outside the city and outside the region to Springfield. Really, they get to see what we have to offer and the thought is they come, they have a great experience, and they’ll come back, whether it is for a Thunderbirds game or a concert,” Dolan said.
The MassMutual Center and MGM Springfield hope the entire event is a home run. Red Sox Winter Weekend begins with a town hall on Friday at the MassMutual Center with doors opening at 4 p.m. You can CLICK HERE for more information or tickets.
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