SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Red Sox Winter Weekend is just days away. Thousands of baseball fans are expected to attend and take over downtown Springfield.
Local businesses are also stepping up to the plate, preparing for the crowds.
Thousands of fans from New England and beyond are expected downtown to attend Red Sox Winter Weekend.
"There’s going to be people staying over on Saturday, so it's going to be a crazy weekend for us, let me put it mildly," said Nadim Kashouh with Nadim's Downtown.
Red Sox players, former and current, will attend Winter Weekend, which consists of multiple events over the span of two days, including panels and town hall meetings, giving fans an interactive experience.
According to MGM Springfield, their big event is happening on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Fan Fest is expected to attract thousands, but local businesses are still hopeful people will venture off to see what they have to offer.
“MGM can seat and feed maybe a thousand people at the most. When you have 8,000-9,000 people, they are going to break away and see what the city has to offer," Kashouh added.
With Winter Weekend expanding from MGM over to the MassMutual Center, those businesses in-between are looking forward to the foot traffic.
"People want to explore. If they are staying in the hotels behind us, they are going to be curious and see what we have to offer," Kashouh noted.
Kashouh told Western Mass News that in addition to all hands on-deck, they are even changing their hours to match-up with the events.
“We typically don't open on Saturday 'til 3 o’clock, but we will be opening at 11,” Kashouh said.
One Springfield resident said it's amazing that the Red Sox are coming to town, bringing business and tourism to western Massachusetts. He also plans on attending, even though he's not even a fan.
"...and it's in my hometown. I'm born and raised in Springfield, so I look forward to it," said Adrian Burgos.
If you plan on attending Red Sox Winter Weekend, keep an eye out for your Western Mass News team handing out baseballs on Friday between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. and again from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. outside our studios at The Plaza at MGM Springfield.
If you're wondering about when and where the Winter Weekend events are, we have a list below!
Friday, January 17
- 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. – 2020 Red Sox Town Hall, MassMutual Center arena
- 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. – Family Fun Zone, MassMutual Center exhibition hall
Saturday, January 18
- 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. – Breakfast with Wally & Tessie, MGM Springfield (ticketed event)
- 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Fan Fest, MassMutual Center (includes Family Fun Zone, Social Media Lounge, and Wally’s World)
- 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. – Season Ticket Holder Lounge, The Armory at MGM Springfield (proper credentials required)
- 9:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Panel discussions throughout the day, MassMutual Center arena
- 9:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. – Autograph and photo sessions throughout the day, MGM Springfield and MassMutual Center
- 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. – Dinner with Wally & Tessie, MGM Springfield (ticketed event)
For more information and tickets, CLICK HERE