Ice Cross Downhill Racing Coming to Fenway Park

by | Sep 13, 2018 | Extreme Sports, News, Paul Baker |

In 2016 the Red Sox built a 140-foot snow ramp in the outfield at Fenway Park for a snowboarding and free skiing competition. Three years later, the ballpark will be once again transformed for another extreme winter sport.

On February 8-9, ice cross downhill will make its debut in Boston at the Red Bull Crashed Ice event. On a track covered in ice, four racers at a time will skate down a seven-story tower constructed on the right field bleachers along a 2,000 foot course, full of jumps and turns. As the racers speed towards the infield, they will follow the narrow track around the bases, finishing at home plate.

“A huge thing for our sport is to show it to people who have never seen it, and get it into new locations,” explains Amanda Trunzo, the reigning women’s ice cross downhill world champion and a former Dartmouth hockey player. “That’s how the sport will continue to develop.”

This will be ice cross downhill’s first appearance in a major sports venue.

For Mark Lev, Managing Director of Fenway Sports Management, it was a perfect chance to work with Red Bull, known for organizing international extreme sports events. “The opportunity presented itself when they were looking to take their Crashed Ice tour to a stadium setting. We were fortunate that Fenway Park was on this list.”

For the fledgling sport of ice cross downhill, holding an event in Boston is a major opportunity. “I think that having the event inside Fenway Park is going to be a game-changer for the sport of ice cross downhill,” said two-time men’s champion Cameron Naasz. “The actuality that it’s really happening is very cool.”

“Fenway Park is a mythic place and an awesome sports environment. There’s a lot of history there. It’s a privilege to design a track for such a place,” said Red Bull Crashed Ice sport director Christian Papillon.

Construction, which will begin in January, will take about three weeks, with the dismantling lasting a week after the competition. According to Papillon, the chance of mild weather is not a deterrent. Chilling technology is put in place to protect the ice.

Lev hopes this event will attract a different type of crowd. “This is an event that might bring different types of audience into Fenway that might not otherwise come here.” Lev estimated a two-day attendance figure in the range of 40,000-50,000.

The Boston races will be worth 1,000 points towards the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship, guaranteeing that the top racers will be in town for the event.

With an eye towards the future, Naasz explained the ultimate goal for the sport would be to return to Boston in a few years and see local growth in the sport. “It’d be great to see it return to Boston again, and see a local boy from there get involved with the sport.”

Follow Paul Baker’s stadium journeys on Twitter and Instagram @PuckmanRI.

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