WEEI>On Demand>>Red Sox COO Sam Kennedy helps us understand Fan-Appreciation Month at Fenway a little better

Red Sox COO Sam Kennedy helps us understand Fan-Appreciation Month at Fenway a little better

Mar 29, 2013|

With all the teeth-gnashing since the Red Sox announced discounted concessions for fans in April, we figured we'd go to the source and get the word from Red Sox chief operating officer Sam Kennedy.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

Turned out to be one of the more intriguing conversations we've had Michael and a week and a half now together on the air and not sure we expected it to go the way we did the Red Sox lowered some prices on concession items. The month of April this year we brought it up on Monday in. Think we both say why are people so angry about this. Ended up being a two or three hour conversation with a lot of venting from from listeners from Red Sox fan season. We got into a lot of things that day we did you know start off saying how. Or just talk about this for a few minutes and wound up talking about a lot longer than a few minutes and I think. Heard some very. Real. Emotions on some good and some good ideas do I think from front runner so I -- easily be described at the time so want to follow up on it and in. Sam Kennedy who is the CA chief operating officer of the Red Sox kind enough to take a few minutes with -- today. To help explain some of the thinking some of the process here and Sam I was hoping we could start with this join -- be the AT&T text line. What are the questions that we've received over and over again and Mike and I just simply don't know the answer to it. It involves the drop in the -- price and whether or not it's an apples apples deal. Is it twelve ounce Beers to twelve ounce Beers or sixteen ounce Beers to twelve ounce Beers can help us that can help us understood. Absolutely Michael Blake could be reviewed and this should start welcome to -- its act back but now -- -- -- Did they I think there's there's probably some confusion. Because does the newspaper article that was on the globe was done. It was a little bit misleading I think it it made it sound like we were just counting. -- year in pencil put that aside for a second what we're actually discounting. Are hot dogs are and we franks are going to be two for one it's hot chocolate going to be two dollars. -- Tony and then of course kid. -- each free with the kids meals in April. But on the -- issue we're simply introducing a five dollar. Twelve ounce draft that we have not have before under sixteen -- straps. I believe last year were between eight dollars and eight dollars and fifty cents. -- and we had a twelve ounce can give him there was seven dollars and fifty. Sense so it is a different product offering for a five dollars and again all part of but what we had hoped would be -- thank you for the chances we have a kickoff they are very busy April 17 home games. Well I think you start to touch on what I was gonna ask you next -- -- and that is. Why did you why did you guys come up with the discount let's say if not discount beer but just discount on Fenway franks the other things that you you've offered what was -- motivation for doing that. Sure well we we really wanted to do it as kind of a thank you Michael we we will recognize that there is and some residual anger from. The epic collapse of 2011. And then in the disastrous that 2012. That we all endured is as Red Sox fans and for those -- in the front office it would be equally as difficult. So we're we're just so we thought -- via small gesture one that. Hopefully people would that would appreciate what we recognize the ultimate thank you would in the real gesture. Is this field. Baseball team that's worthy -- it can't support in this competitive and plays the game the right way it. Hopefully with John Carroll's return in the new coaching staff and completely revamped. Lineup we'll we'll get back to. We all deserve here in Boston and that's point competitive baseball all season long and and hopefully into October which is sort of park. Organizational goal each and every year. Sammy said you realize there's some anger while we hear it on the radio we read it on on our text line here. How'd you hear about it. I hear most idea writes I hear mostly the hockey rink every weekend. These I think on this -- assistant coach my son's hockey team and I get from the parents and my friend and then that guys they grew up went. I didn't I didn't think I thought I want to BB NN -- out of Brookline I guess I hear from a lot of the Brookline High School friend. In and around the neighborhood of Boston and I hear every single day and believe -- it is frustrating and disappointing. As it is for anyone else and then hopefully again I think. -- our ownership has been under fire here the last eighteen months. And the front office and we'll take it you know we I don't necessarily say that we deserve it but will take it live with it because. You do not want to be in baseball. Anywhere other than Boston this is the best marketed in the country and work in baseball door to New York port of San Diego. This is this is the the epicenter of the game -- -- John Carroll likes to say so. We'll take a good time with the bad times and end you know we president. Track record the body worked. John Henry and Time Warner and Larry Lucchino. And you know I think he started. Played again the right way get off to a decent start hopefully people will will will jump on board these. I don't I don't think people really left legislate there is kind of a wait and see attitude right now and and we recognize that and we certainly understand that it's incumbent upon us to do better. That's who were committed to doing. Chief operating officer of the Red Sox Sam Kennedy joining us here on WEEI silken holly. This this this lower concession price deal what is the response that you've gotten. You know it's been. Not that surprised by how many media inquiries -- -- -- over it. Which tells you that this is there are talking about it and some get some email you know thanking us got another email saying you know this is not not -- entice me to come back to the park can. We try to respond to every single in Korea media inquiries sandy creek. And it has been got a lot more attention and I thought but. I think that's symptomatic -- emblematic of of the Red Sox standing in this town and in the sports culture. Everything then that this happens. With the Red Sox. Is is magnified in his honor on a larger stage because of the love and passion that we all. That he knows those who grew up here we know how important Red Sox are. -- -- It's part of our DNA so. We we we get it but it's it's amazing Allah a little story like a small gestures from the key month on concession that it. Can be such a big deal. Update the truth about it guys we that is not an original idea. My friend -- -- to alienate you Latimer. Had this idea to offer. Three concession items for a couple days. When the -- -- came back in the lockout and I would -- that one of those came close a great idea if you have other folks were front office thought that was a great idea. And so you know we have no shame we we basically stole their idea. But they I don't know what they got quite as much attention that they they should have but. It it's it's not not an original idea to particularly special offered you can start kickoff season. Are not -- you look at it that way. A special operative fancy kick up the season but into this is what I read in the -- stories you can correct me on this that this is wrong. But I thought it was a gesture it was -- thank you to fans. Because maybe it was you you were quoted saying the sellout streak cool and and I heard Larry Lucchino said earlier it's a thank you for the sellout streak is is. Is that not accurate that this was. -- -- -- well. Let me try to do just that just to finish up the thought OK if that's the case. And and I'm not great at math but I'm looking at this where you have an average of 81 home games or 81 home games every year. You're sellout streak is currently at 712. 7980. Maria -- seven had a fantastic record of 793 even worse. So we're talking about nine art you know nine seasons. Nine almost -- -- in nine seasons. Is it fair to say if you gonna think fans. For putting together that long history in the history of baseball. Couldn't discounts extend the entire -- Apple actually they could didn't that's something that we would we can certainly considered -- it that the response is positive and people enjoy it and I think it's something that we would consider and and that's. That there I think. That's why I I would suggest and that was small but gesture of ethics is certainly is not meant to be. Thank you for. Nine plus seasons of of sellouts at Fenway -- We all our fans a lot more than that that we -- them. It continued commitment to player payroll. We need to be at the very top -- in baseball. Continued commitment and experience the physical renovations and at Fenway Park -- he had agreed to pay an experienced. That continue to invest in the communities. Just ownership group has given back. Over fifty million dollars this is what created the Red Sox foundation cases to local. Boston's New England charities so by no means would I ever suggest that. Small thank you to discounted concessions from the April as a proper thank you for a decade of fan support. No loyalty is a two way street and we recognize that we understand that and we're we're committed this. Getting the team back to where it belongs as I mentioned before which is complaint. Is just playing that competitive baseball that's the ultimate thank you would reward in the value that we need to provide not just our season ticket holders but everyone comes to Fenway Park. There's a lot and there are Sam Sam Kennedy yeah Red Sox CEO kind of have to take a few minutes with us and we really do appreciate and I think that does. I think people like to hear that that maybe this wouldn't just be eight running -- be a lot of fans out there as one of the things we heard over and over again as we talk to people earlier in the week is. April -- him do it for the whole season so I like the fact that that you guys are open to that idea -- -- -- -- -- -- the -- question for me though is what does -- -- About the Red Sox and Red Sox fans have always sort of held themselves above everyone else -- again we don't need any of these -- EU moves in order to get this into the ballpark. We don't need this sausages running around in a circle we just -- Fenway Park and we have the Boston Red Sox and we are huge Red Sox fans we don't need to do minor league gimmicks. Not that this is a minor league gimmick but is this the beginning of may be different year of the wave at the way the Red Sox. -- game presentation could change or is this just a small thing. No I think it's just a small thing I think that's -- twelve -- well I can't decide how we and community in Boston. You need to provide. The two things I mentioned winning baseball competitive baseball commitment to player payroll. At a great to have experience I want our ushers and ticket takers -- security -- that people who work here members of the front office. To create a warm friendly hospitable environment at Fenway. We don't need it this sort of gimmicky promotions or give away items -- things that. He need to do and other markets to get -- to calm put a ball game stuff that's not to say that. Those things from time to time. -- Are appropriate but didn't really -- it to different. Approach to the business aside of of baseball here in Boston. And out to be to be clear up 42 markets where. Absolutely matters and you you do need to create special promotions and offering it to drive people to your to -- -- so. That's just different fidelity it's all about the baseball here and that is that the central mission of the Boston red. So what can we do. And what can we do undo it I knew him back in town I'm excited to be back Michael I have this new showed together. What can we do to lead the charge to extend this for the entire year to what also weakened. If he started today by by calling him that to our attention that you think you would be -- now offering. I think that if fans really respond well to it and and appreciated. It's something that we can we can play. Into consideration. And now I'm going to be great thing actually you know sort of we pride ourselves on listening into the stands and he's taking their feedback so I think I think you're off to a good start. Nothing world that -- -- -- Things. Feel right in Red Sox Nation and get off to a quick start. -- -- social promotion there's no. Marketing. The dark -- can do. Play winning baseball games so. Get off to a good start rule will sit down with our partners. Bear market partners -- am are -- -- A partner in Santiago's general rule when I can touch on this for sure appreciate action for this. That -- offer. But -- that was my question about the past and you alluded to earlier in your Brookline high guy you know this area and you talk about some of your friends. And the disappointment. During now. If your friends can't be real with you -- -- can be real. How how angry have they've been -- I'm wondering of their anger in their disappointment their dissatisfaction and we wanna put its stamp. Mirrors and echoes that of the people we hear on the radio on the people -- I mean they weren't really angry. Up for the most part earlier this week when we talk about the story about different your friends say do you. Samad don't wanna go to the ballpark anymore I don't trust the Red Sox in women what how how part of the ticket. Yeah you know it's -- -- It he's a little bit of -- and I think there's a lot of fans who are true and and and -- always with me -- -- -- Michael. They're really are you know what's that but it it it really comes down to. The product on the field and then you know when we're losing you hear about how important. Edwards were waiting. But I think there's there has been. A lot of residual anger and and and that is that we recognize that we get and we need to do everything we can't improve. Our reputation. Reputation has taken a hit -- of the votes that's going to be pretty clear we recognize that. And we need to be judged now by how we respond to that two week. You know just shy away from -- everything possible to try to improve in every area of our operation or do we. Work hard to improve in every area of our operation I think. You -- Jonathan dominant Larry that commitment is new leadership. -- players on the field. And community involvement has always been there the experience at Fenway Park has that was then there and again these are cash for the track record and beat. In I say that there's -- the paper in the you know again growing and growing up here. It's these guys are gonna go down and in my opinion is the greatest owners and Red Sox history beat John Henry Tom Warner Larry Lucchino have apple brought something that no other ownership group has ever achieved. In Boston in terms of winning two World Series. Championship. These -- Fenway park at the tune of 285. Million dollars. They've been -- active in the community at any ownership group. In town and don't believe me we play in a town with great ownership groups -- be looked at the -- have done a model franchise in the NFL. The governor huge hockey fan the -- continually bring in the cup by the leak to us here in Boston. I felt that he would grow expected Steve Pagliuca and rich got some their unbelievable operators this is a great place. To work and sports book what John Tom and Larry have done has been really unparalleled. In Boston Red Sox history. I'm so. It's you know -- again it comes with the territory when you lose and and we take it on the chin and we've taken a more which it would take a body -- that he's actually been around through the -- And you know probably deservedly so you know we've we've we've made some bad decisions and down you know we paid the price -- I've -- she. You guys and and all of our listeners and and -- New England to keep the basins and give it chance here I think. That he the expectations are our low. Which I understand but. Haven't spent a lot of time it's -- training. Folks there there's a different attitude people are really out to prove something this year. I think you'll see a lot of leadership from some of our veteran guys and and some of the new guys where he didn't really wanna I really want you make good on what has been a difficult couple years so. We're we're excited but again global sort of temper expectations but ask people to keep the faith because it could be. I really exciting year and -- and he's -- DOH and those guys have a have a plan -- a working towards it and wolf I don't see how things play out it's the best time a year you know reporting starts this season. It'll be great day on Monday in new York and we're ready to get -- You Sam Kennedy chief operating officer of the Red Sox and he explains to us say exactly what is happening at. Clearing up some of the details that may be had been missed in the in the translation. With some of the concessions some. I gotta tell you I'm disappointed about the beer was discount on now now I'm really did kind of -- that's that's a disappointment how it. How was that how was that not where clear in the story I thought man I was excited about that one. Well you know what he needs Jeff brown and Jason wolf to host -- and there are -- Port of how we talk about this go without being in the three discord of the game. Nice to have a a five dollar beer or cheaper and we appreciate it I don't know -- just taken the time with -- -- Are they are sanity of the the AT&T -- oh. There is there's a lot in there clarifying exactly what happened with the beer. Do you believe how does that happen is that is that -- well I mean that's the -- -- Michael how do you not jump out ahead of did. Hey whoa whoa whoa -- Everybody just calm down how is not calling everybody and saying you know. Hey guys you're screwed up the story we don't want to give you the impression that we're trying to pull a fast one on you here so. Lucky comes on he clarifies I appreciate all of that. I would love to see them commit I'm glad they're open let's finish this here in the second time to do for a 444 were already incredibly late but it it is Salk and holly here a WB.

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