Boston Red Sox Introduce Virtual Reality Experience
Look at your right side, and you will find that David Price is throwing fastballs in a bullpen, which is placed at Boston Red Sox spring training ballpark in Florida.
Wait for some time, and you are standing in the cage with David Ortiz as he launches line drives in batting practice.
The fans of the Red Sox will get a chance to see the team in 360-degrees and close up. The technology made its inauguration recently when the ballclub paid a visit to the latest improvements for the Marty Walsh, the mayor of Boston, and members of the media in advance of the Monday’s home opener.
Adam Grossman, the senior vice president of the Red Sox said, “We’re always trying to bring the experience to the fan and give them as much unfiltered access as possible.”
The first virtual reality video was filmed at spring training in Fort Myers, Florida. More of these videos are planned as the team gathers footage from the regular session. It includes shots of pitching sessions and batting practices from close, and with the viewer standing behind the fielders or in the batter’s box as they field the ground balls.
The free video is about two minutes long – the right amount of time for a fan between innings or pitch changing.
Recently, the team took the headsets to the Jimmy Fund clinic at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Grossman said, where it was a great scene with the children being treated at the institute.
Three dugout-themed booths will be placed throughout the ballpark for now and each booth will have some virtual reality headsets.
On Friday, Walsh gave a film thumbs-up before going on to watch the other offseason upgrades to the oldest ballpark in the major leagues. The changes include the new safety netting that extends down towards the lines to third and first base, rather than just behind the home plate, taking cover to all seats within the area of 70 feet of the plate.
Walsh praised the new safety feature, as in the last season, which took place in last June, a woman was hit by a broken piece of a bat; her injuries were said as life-threatening by the doctors, but she finally recovered.
“I think at first people are going to say they don’t like them … but you get used to it,” he said, noting that NHL teams have added safety netting behind the goalies and there are few complaints. “If it prevents someone from getting hurt, it’s great.”
Team owner, Tom Werner and Walsh also showed support for a new city ordinance prohibiting the use of chewing tobacco on all the ballfields, where amateur, high school, collegiate, or professional sports are played. If a coach or player is found or caught dipping, then the team will be notified of the violation, which contains a fine of $250, said Mayor.
The details as to how it will be handled are still being worked on.
Walsh said, “We’re not going to walk out in the middle of the 6th inning, stop the game and hand someone a ticket.”
The other ballpark improvements by the team include a new section of seats with the roof along the first line and 222 seats, increasing the night game capacity to 37,949, and new LED boards on the upper deck facade.
Also, these things are new this year:
– New cameras in the bullpen that will enable fans to watch pitchers warming up.
– New food offerings, which include, a gluten free pizza, a Korean fried pork belly sandwich created by the chef Andrew Zimmern and the Travel Channel host, hot dog buns, and Cheetos popcorn.