Sam Kennedy on D&K: Red Sox not ruling out fans for opener

Rob Bradford
June 25, 2020 - 12:50 pm
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Sam Kennedy nudged open the door Wednesday night. Now people want to know when they will be able to actually walk through the gates.

After saying fans at Fenway Park for the 2020 season was going to be a "possibility," the Red Sox team president appeared on the Dale & Keefe Show to elaborate on the club's way of thinking.

A portion of the conversation included a timeline as to when the gates might actually open up, with Kennedy not ruling out seeing people at Fenway for the games in late July when the season kicks off.

"We would be ready to do that operationally in terms of trying to provide a socially distant environment for a smaller capacity, but I don’t know if that is going to be a possibility. We are certainly going to look at it," he told the show's hosts Dale Arnold, Mike Mutnansky and Jermaine Wiggins.  "We are going to talk to our elected officials. We will talk to the Massachusetts’ Re-Opening Advisory Board and if they determine that is something that is possible we would be ready to do it. But I don’t know. It could be July. It could be August. It could be September. We’ll just have to see, but we want to be ready in case it’s a possibility. We have a lot of season ticket-holders and fans I think would be excited to come to Fenway and we want to make sure we’re ready to do that from an operational perspective if it’s allowable and if it’s safe and responsible."

While to firm plan is in place in regards to how tickets would be distributed or prioritized, Kennedy did surmise that season ticket-holders would likely get the first crack at an entrance.

"The goal would be to allow our season ticket-holders and our longstanding customer the opportunity to come in," he said. "We’re obviously not there yet in terms of a specific plan just because we don’t know if it’s even possible. But we would love to be in a position to have as many as many people to come in based upon what the guidelines might look like."

Kennedy also offered a firm explanation when talking about why getting fans back into the park is being viewed as a priority, detailing the hurdles still needed to clear in order to make such a dynamic reality.

"Anyone who knows me knows that I am a very optimistic, glass-is-half-full kind of person. It’s probably aspirational," said Kennedy regarding his view of getting fans back in the stands. "I don’t think it’s wishful thinking because I do think it’s possible.

"Look, I want to be very clear, we will not obviously do anything that is not directed and governed by Charlie Baker and Karyn Polito, Marty Walsh, Kathryn Burton, the folks that run the state of Massachusetts, the city of Boston. We will follow local ordinances and guidelines. I’m hopeful that as we get into this there may be an opportunity if the data supports to allow us to possibly look at having some fans at Fenway at some point. Whether that’s July or August or September I don’t know. Will it happen? I certainly don’t know. I just know, to be frank, we need to have fans inside Fenway Park. It’s so important for the team from a competitive standpoint. It’s so important for our business to be able to get going again. For the long-term health of Major League Baseball, getting fans back in the stands and doing it in a responsible way is critical. We have to do it. But, again, it can only be done when the medical experts and the government officials tell us that it is safe to do it. We’ve been studying a lot of data and information regarding to outdoor transmission and following our data very carefully. So we’ll be continuing to monitor it. It may be aspirational but we do hope at some point there will be a possibility of getting fans back into Fenway Park in a safe and responsible way."