Worcester Polytechnic Institute Teams Up with Worcester Red Sox to Create a 21st Century Ballpark
With a common goal of building a ballpark of the future through research and innovation, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) President Laurie Leshin and Pawtucket Red Sox Principal Owner and Chairman Larry Lucchino have announced a partnership between the university and the ballclub: WPI will become the official Worcester Red Sox academic technology advisor, helping the club design and develop what will be known as Polar Park, expected to open in 2021.
“As Worcester’s hometown technological university, WPI shares the club’s vision and opportunity for Polar Park: to create a versatile regional sports venue that combines a traditional ballpark environment with modern, smart, and connected amenities,” said President Leshin. “Polar Park and its surrounding district offer tremendous opportunities for faculty and students to develop new applications for innovative technologies that will improve the experiences of baseball fans and beyond. This is a win-win.”
“One of the many appealing assets in Worcester is WPI, a world-class technology leader,” Lucchino said. “We have long sought this collaboration to help this ballpark be innovative as well as friendly and beautiful. We look forward to WPI’s participation on the key technology fronts.”
Congressman Jim McGovern Celebrates the Partnership Announcement
Starting in the 2019-2020 academic year and continuing through the 2023 baseball season, WPI teams will work on projects in the areas of user experience, smart design, virtual reality, robotics, data analytics, and mobile app development. As part of WPI’s acclaimed project-based learning model, research conducted by undergraduate, graduate students, PhD candidates and faculty could include developing new ways to collect and use sensory data, accommodate persons with physical disabilities, and augment the game experience with virtual reality.
“We're bringing together researchers with a wide array of expertise to develop new ways to apply innovative science and engineering to the creation of Polar Park,” said Wole Soboyejo, WPI provost ad interim. “We love the idea of connecting our faculty, students, and staff to this wonderful collaboration with the ballclub to help revitalize downtown.”
WPI will also work with the ballclub to implement STEM programming in the ballpark and the community. Other opportunities include incorporating educational and entertaining interactive exhibits during ballgames and other Polar Park events.
About Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a purpose-driven community of educators and researchers, has been the global leader in project-based learning for 50 years. An impact maker for higher education and the world, WPI prepares confident, competent problem solvers with a project-based curriculum that immerses students in authentic, real-world experiences.