A crowd of Boston Red Sox fans recently descended upon Shell Point Retirement Community for an old-fashioned ballpark-style picnic outdoors with the Boston Red Sox on The Boardwalk in The Woodlands at Shell Point.
The Fenway Force of Red Sox Ambassadors and staff displayed the team’s two World Series trophies and answered questions about ticket sales and the upcoming season, while Wally the Green Monster posed for pictures, dispensed hugs and high fives, and kept everyone laughing with his antics.
Shell Point staff served up ballpark favorites such as hotdogs, popcorn, ice cream, and Cracker Jacks while guests played a number of games for the chance to win Red Sox gear and other door prizes including a signed baseball jersey and an official Red Sox jacket.
The highlight of the event was an informal interview with Joe Castiglione, the “Voice of the Red Sox,” who kept the crowd mesmerized for more than half an hour as he told exciting and often funny anecdotes from his years of calling the games on the radio for the Boston Red Sox.
“We were thrilled to have the Red Sox visit Shell Point,” said Lynn Schneider, assistant vice president of communications for the community. “The Boardwalk was a perfect location to hold this event and visitors got a chance to not only meet members of the Red Sox organization but they also got a look at our community as well. This event is typical of the type of programs and activities that we offer our residents throughout the year and it showed off the lifestyle available at Shell Point. We had a number of guests ask to take a tour of the community afterwards.”
Throughout the year, Shell Point holds several large events for the public to allow people to tour the community in an informal fashion and enjoy some of the many amenities it has to offer.
“Our biggest event of the year is the annual open house,” said Schneider. “The Shell Point Open House is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is free and open to the public. This year’s theme is centered around our waterfront location and will feature a variety of tropical entertainers. We will have activities and events taking place throughout all three neighborhoods of our community including water ski shows, synchronized swimmers, Polynesian dancers, pontoon boat rides, sand sculpting, radio-controlled boat races and more. Of course, we will also be offering tours of our models and presentations throughout the day for those who are interested.”
Further information about Shell Point’s Open House can be found online at www.shellpoint.org or by calling 239-466-1131.
Tickets for the Boston Red Sox went on sale on Jan. 8 and according to Katie Haas, director of Florida business operations for the Boston Red Sox, sales have been brisk and the upcoming games of the season are nearly sold out.
“We still have some tickets left but they are going fast,” said Haas. “With the team’s recent off-season acquisitions and the last year at City of Palms park performance, we anticipate our sellout streak, currently at 104 consecutive games, to continue this Spring with sold-out crowds at all of our games this year.”
This will be the last year for the Boston Red Sox at the City of Palms Park in downtown Fort Myers. The team will be moving its Spring Training facilities to a new park that is currently under construction on Daniels Road in South Fort Myers.
“Our new ballpark will be significantly larger and will expand the number of seats we can offer at each game by close to twenty-five percent,” she said. “We have been playing at the City of Palms Park for 19 years and we love the Fort Myers area and Southwest Florida and are happy to be staying here.”
The Boston Red Sox generate $25 million in revenue for the county according to a Lee County Economic Impact study conducted by Davidson-Peterson Associates on behalf of the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) in conjunction with FGCU.
“Baseball is a huge attraction to Southwest Florida and adds an additional dimension to our tourism economy,” said Nancy Hamilton, communications director for the VCB. “Not only do the teams playing baseball love it here, so do the fans.”
Jim Hellmuth from Sanibel Island posed with Wally, the Boston Red Sox mascot, during the Shell Point meet-and-greet event.