Worcester’s Polar Park is finally open.
The long-awaited park opened its gates Tuesday for the first time as the WooSox defeated the Syracuse Mets 8-5 in their home opener.
For now, capacity at the park, located in the Kelly Square area, will be capped at 25 percent under Phase 4, Step 1 of Massachusetts’ reopening plan. Tickets for the home opener have sold out.
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The game comes as the state gradually relaxes restrictions imposed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Opening Day has sparked a buzz in the area, which expects to see economic impacts from the arrival of the team.
“The energy’s amazing and the energy in the ballpark is fueled by the energy in the community,” WooSox President Dr. Charles Steinberg said.
And the flurry of activity in and around the park is frenetic.
“We’re going to have a lot of things going on right up until Tuesday and right on through the summer,” Steinberg said.
While the home opener will certainly be special, the team president said it will be a season of unveilings, ribbon cuttings and special moments -- especially as the games start with the 25% maximum capacity due to COVID restrictions.
While the inaugural game may be sold out, there are plenty of tickets left for the season -- tickets that won’t break the bank.
“When you can come to this ballpark for $8 for the kids, $9 for the adults, you know that you have an option on so many spring and summer nights,” Steinberg said.
“It’s an excitement for the community, trying to revitalize the area,” said Wings Over Worcester General Manager Ray Jackson.
For Canal District businesses like Wings Over Worcester, which weathered both COVID and construction around the park, it’s a light at the end of a long tunnel.
“All these small businesses that suffered for so long starting to get a little something pumped back into the system,” Jackson said.
And for the Worcester Public Market, which opened just a month before the shutdown, there's finally a payoff.
“People are going to come here and have a beer at Wachusett Brew Yard, maybe have some food at some of the great restaurants behind me or, you know, just come after the game or before the game. It’s a great walk, it’s a block away,” Worcester Public Market Executive Director Domenic Mercurio said.