Faced with the possibility of a dank April, dubious prospects, and swaths of empty red and blue seats, the Red Sox are ripping a page from the strategy manuals of down-market teams across Major League Baseball. They are offering free food and reduced-price beer. Yes, at Red Sox games, though only in April.
Kids under 14 will eat free — well, before the third inning, provided they go to specially designated concession stands to pick up their Fenway Frank, Goldfish, and carton of juice. Around the park, buy one hot dog, get a second for free. Hot chocolate will be sold for half-price. And beer, which flows from the Fenway taps like liquid gold and costs almost as much, will be sold for $5 per 12-ounce cup, down from between $7.50-$8.50.
It’s something that’s more likely to be seen in Kansas City, Mo., or St. Petersburg, Fla., or Arlington, Texas, than Boston, places where fans are often drawn by giveaways and Dollar Dog nights.
But with all that went on in 2012 with the Red Sox, it’s clear that the team is ready to admit to fan dissatisfaction and capitulate to fan demand for a friendlier environment around the Olde Towne Team.
It also needs to sell tickets.
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