2013-12-27 / Front Page

Cape resident takes Fenway to new heights

By Michael Kelley
Staff Writer


Stack Box Structures Co., founded by Cape Elizabeth resident Rory Strunk, created a 20-foot high, 150-foot long sledding hill that will be part of Frozen Fenway, a winter festival of hockey games and winter activities Dec. 28 through Jan. 13 in Boston. The company, based in a Scarborough, creates temporary extreme sports infrastructure for events across the country. (Courtesy photo) Stack Box Structures Co., founded by Cape Elizabeth resident Rory Strunk, created a 20-foot high, 150-foot long sledding hill that will be part of Frozen Fenway, a winter festival of hockey games and winter activities Dec. 28 through Jan. 13 in Boston. The company, based in a Scarborough, creates temporary extreme sports infrastructure for events across the country. (Courtesy photo) SCARBOROUGH – A company from Scarborough is helping families experience Fenway Park like they have never done before.

Stack Box Structures, an event infrastructure company located on Indian Woods Road, has been hired to create a 20-foot high and 150-foot long sledding hill for Frozen Fenway, an annual twoweek event that features high school and college hockey games, as well as public skating and other winter activities.

The sledding hill, dubbed the Monster Sled, will start in left-centerfield by the edge of the iconic Green Monster and end right in front of the Red Sox bullpen.


Rory Strunk Rory Strunk “It will be quite the experience. It has a couple of different pitches and loop de loop jumps on the way down,” Eric Carlson, the company’s managing partner of engineering and operations said Dec. 16 on his way back from Boston.

Rory Strunk, the Stack Box Structures’ managing partner of marketing and business development, said each piece of portable infrastructure is created using shipping containers and designed specifically for a particular use or client. Carlson said since all pieces click together, there is no need for bolts.

“It’s almost like a big Erector Set,” said Strunk, of Cape Elizabeth. “We adapt to the venue or sports arena it is going in.”

While the company produces pieces for all sorts of entertainment events throughout the year, including BMX bike ramps, skate parks and waterslides, Strunk said, the focus right now is on winter fun.

“We’re focused on wintertainment in urban areas or stadium arenas across the country,” Struck said.

The equipment, no matter the end use, is housed at Cote Crane and Rigging Services in Auburn.

“Cote has been a very integral part of our success because I have an experienced crew of people—their staff—who know how these things are put together,” said Carlson, a resident of Scarborough. “They do all of our builds. They can put it together quicker than you imagine.”

It took only two days to construct the sledding hill, although the crew had to get creative by getting the pieces of the structure into the park via a crane over the Green Monster.

Cote Crane is but one of the Maine companies that is involved in Frozen Fenway. Carlson said McCann Fabrication in New Gloucester fabricated some of the metal pieces on the sledding hill. The ice rink, which will house college and high school hockey games, as well as public ice skating, was designed and constructed by Rink Specialists of Naples.

Strunk said winter entertainment events like Frozen

Fenway are becoming more and more common.

“Traditionally they have been held in winter markets, but people want to be able to skate and sled so markets like Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta are creating these multiweek events,” Strunk said.

Much of the popularity stems from outdoor

National Hockey League games, including the annual Winter Classic, started in 2008 to revive interest in hockey.

“What has taken place in the last three years, due to the popularity of outdoor NHL games, is major stadiums and urban markets are creating winter events that start with hockey and skating and merge into other events. It is easy for people to do. It is very family friendly,” Strunk said.

Strunk said this is the first year Frozen Fenway has offered a sliding hill. Strunk said he got in touch with Sam Kennedy, the Red Sox executive vice president and chief operating officer, and brought up the idea of adding a sledding element to the offerings, which center around the amateur hockey games.

Kennedy, Struck said, was receptive to the idea. After initial meetings in early 2012, the Red Sox special events team approved the idea in late March.

Stack Box Structures was co-founded by Carlson and Strunk in 2007. The company, Strunk said, started out doing special events for the New York City Parks and Recreation Department.

Carlson said in those initial years, the company did a lot of work with Red Bull putting on BMX, snowboard and other extreme sport competitions. In 2010, however, with the downturn economy, such opportunities started to dry up.

Now that the economy has rebounded, Stack Box Structures can hardly keep up with the demand.

“We had a huge resurgence so fast and so unexpected that we couldn’t accommodate all the requests. We are now starting to build things back up,” Carlson said.

Tickets are $25 for one hour of sledding. For more information or tickets visit http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/ bos/ticketing/monster_ sled.jsp.

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