BOSTON - The lights are on… the heaters ready… and the lines painted at Fenway Park.
“Oh we’re excited and looking forward to it,” groundskeeper Dave Mellor said.
The grounds crew at Fenway Park just completed a several week transformation from a baseball diamond to a new football field.
“We want the field to play safe and play well and that’s our goal we strive for every time,” explained Mellor.
This year, Fenway Park will host a full slate of Division 1 college football games and traditional high school thanksgiving rivalry games, and it will be cold. [Full list of games below]
“Certainty weather is a challenge. Mother Nature in New England changes a lot. You know that better than I,” Mellor told Boston 25 News Meteorologist Sarah Wroblewski.
Sure enough, for the first set of games, the Boston 25 Storm Tracker Weather Team is tracking an Arctic blast of cold air pour in the area, meaning dropping temperatures and wind chills in the teens!
While players and fans can dress for the cold, keeping the brankd new field safe to play on will be the real challenge as we near record lows over the weekend.
Mellor explained there is a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into protecting the field. “A lot of attention to detail, a lot of science and a lot of team work.”
You may be wondering how does the team at Fenway maintain perfect field conditions, during extreme weather such as near record lows? His answer is simple: “We try to have the field going into events healthy. Actively heathy growing grass can handle a lot of wear. So it’s a lot of support throughout the club to have the proper tools.”
Dave Mellor assures everyone they are prepared, even for what they consider the biggest challenge during the late fall football season.
“Mother Nature, whether it is rain and it freezes on the tarp, or certainly snow… it’s a four-letter word. But should it be physically removed, we have plans for that. We hope for the best, plan for the worst,” said Mellor.
Fenway has a long history of football dating back to its opening in 1912. It was commonly transformed for high school and college games throughout the early 20th Century and was home to the Boston Patriots from 1963-1968. In November 2015, football returned to Fenway Park for the first time since 1968 when Notre Dame hosted Boston College.
Friday, November 10 - Dartmouth College vs Brown University
Saturday, November 11 - University of Maine vs University of Massachusetts
Saturday, November 18 - Boston College vs University of Connecticut
Tuesday, November 21 - BC High vs. Catholic Memorial
Wednesday, November 22 - High School Football Doubleheader
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