11/16/2007 11:06 AM ET
Red Sox to add more than 800 seats as part of Year VII Fenway Park improvements
New stairways, elevator, restrooms, color auxiliary scoreboards, and ADA seating among improvements
BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox today announced their Year VII Fenway Park Improvements to "America's Most Beloved Ballpark," which celebrates its 96th anniversary in 2008. More seats, more space, more information, more food, and improved circulation highlight the list.
SEATS: More than 800 new State Street Pavilion seats, plus standing room tickets, will be available for each game. Most (approximately 620) will be installed on the third base side of the park; the remaining (approximately 220) on the first base side.
"It's important to note that many of the tickets are intended to be affordable and available for day of game purchases, group sales, and 10th man plans," said Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino. "We understand the demand for such seats; thus we are adding to the supply."
SPACE: Beyond the seats on the third base side, a dedicated area, "Standing Room Corner," will provide a unique view of the field. In addition, the club is adding permanent upgraded restrooms and concessions that will serve the State Street Pavilion and the Green Monster.
INFORMATION: New, linear scoreboards will line portions of the EMC Level fascia. The "LED" technology gives full color, clear information regarding the batter, the pitcher, the count, and other key game information. This improvement helps fans with compromised views of the scoreboards in centerfield and left field.
FOOD: A Bleacher Bar & Grill, a year-round restaurant in center field, is scheduled to open at the start of the 2008 season. Beneath the Bleachers that previously sat atop the visitors' batting cages, it will open onto Lansdowne Street, with a view into the ballpark as well.
CIRCULATION: A new staircase from the Gate A area on Yawkey Way to the back of the Grandstand at Section 27 will improve vertical circulation, as will a new elevator and stairway in left field.
SUITES: Eight new private suites, available on a single game basis, will replace the six that were housed in the temporary boxes placed on the pavilion for the 1999 All-Star Game. Those two boxes, the "K" and "B" suites (named for their proximity to Kenmore Square and Boylston Street, respectively), are scheduled to be removed starting today. In addition, 12 private suites will be renovated (just as 26 were renovated in 2007).
INFRASTRUCTURE: Improvements also include waterproofing the seating bowl in the Bleacher area, a project that requires replacing the seats (already sold to fans) in these sections. The seating replacement gives the club the opportunity to add wheelchair locations with sightlines and companion seating that comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
Structural upgrades and stabilization are underway in all seating areas, and service level improvements include additional sprinkler systems in the concourses and automatic exit doors in the roll down grates.
As a part of the club's commitment to bring the Red Sox clubhouse up to par with those of other Major League Baseball teams, the Red Sox plan to provide a fully equipped kitchen and new restrooms on the clubhouse's Mezzanine Level. The club plans also to install new restrooms adjacent to the Red Sox Interview Room.
The club has made annual improvements since Principal Owner John Henry, Chairman Tom Werner, Lucchino and their partners purchased the club before the start of the 2002 season.
"We are pleased to be on the path to achieve goals that were once thought to be unachievable," Lucchino said. "For decades, there was a presumption that Fenway Park had outlived its useful life and, sentiment aside, would have to be replaced by a modern facility in another location. We are eager to see, in 2012, this ballpark become the first ever to celebrate its 100th anniversary."
On March 25, 2005, Henry, Werner, Lucchino, and their ownership group announced a long-term commitment to the park, ending years of uncertainty. Since making their commitment, they have worked to preserve and protect the jewel.
"These improvements continue our efforts to make Fenway Park more comparable to other MLB parks in terms of number of seats and fan amenities, while still preserving the scale and character that had made Fenway Park 'America's Most Beloved Ballpark,'" said Janet Marie Smith, the Red Sox' Senior Vice President/Planning and Development. "Changes are being made in accordance with the standards set by the National Park Service and are reviewed in advance by the Massachusetts Historic Commission, the Boston City Landmarks Commission, and Boston Redevelopment Authority.
"We are committed to not only making Fenway Park more convenient and comfortable for our fans, but ensuring that the safety of our park is in line with current codes."
The improvements for 2008 were designed by D'Agostino Izzo & Quirk of Somerville. McNamara Salvia is the structural engineer, and SEI is serving as the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineer with both firms based in Boston. The code and life safety consultant is Howe Engineers of Sandwich, MA. Construction is being done by William A. Berry & Son, Inc. of Danvers, MA. The Boston office of Struever Brothers Eccles & Rouse is acting as the Red Sox program manager.