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11/06/2008 11:16 AM ET
Red Sox announce Year VIII Fenway Park improvements
Off-season improvements include more seats, more space and upgraded facilities
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BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox today announced their Year VIII Fenway Park Improvements to "America's Most Beloved Ballpark," which will celebrate its 97th anniversary in 2009. A repair of the portion of the lower seating bowl that was originally constructed in 1912 and the addition of seats and dedicated standing room areas to the Right Field Roof highlight the 2009 list.

"Our 'Year VIII Improvements' is a continuation of the steadfast commitment by John Henry, Tom Werner and ownership to preserving and enhancing Fenway Park and taking that Fenway experience to higher levels," said Larry Lucchino, Red Sox President/CEO. "This series of annual improvements represent a significant private investment on the part of our ownership in the expansion, protection, and preservation of America's Most Beloved Ballpark, and these actions will help to ensure baseball will be played in this historic facility for 100 years and many years beyond."

The Year VIII Improvements include:

Seating Bowl Repair
A large portion of the lower seating bowl, between Sections 14 and 28, is being repaired and waterproofed, a project that requires removing and reinstalling the Dugout Seats, Field Box Seats, Loge Box Seats and Grandstand Seats in these sections with new or refurbished seats. The Field Box and Loge Box Seats have already been sold to fans and will be replaced with new seats. The wooden Grandstand seats, the last remaining historic seats in all of Major League Baseball, will be refurbished and the Grandstand seat widths will be adjusted to insure that all seats in this section meet the industry standard of 18 inches as they now do in the Bleacher sections of Fenway Park.

Additionally, the waterproofing project provides the opportunity to improve existing wheelchair and companion seating locations with improved sightlines by elevating the wheelchair spaces and providing for spaces for companions to be adjacent to them.

All seats are being refurbished and/or replaced by American Seating, the same company that has worked on the seats at Fenway Park since its inception in 1912. The concrete repair work is being done by NER Construction of Wilmington, MA, who recently completed this task in the Bleacher sections.

Right Field Roof Improvements
The work being performed upon a portion of the Right Field Roof that was originally constructed in 1976 will include the additions of approximately 560 new seats (replacing 383 Right Field Roof Box Seats to be removed as part of the renovation project) and additional dedicated standing room spaces with drink rails will also be added. 75 new stools with drink rails similar to those above the Green Monster, new concessions and restrooms will also be constructed on a brand new concrete concourse to enhance the fans' experience.

The Budweiser Right Field Roof Deck will also be expanded with 28 new seats at tables, including five new ADA locations and an extended standing room platform. The remaining suites in right field (R19 - R21) will also be updated as part of this project and will complete the transformation of the EMC Level. All suites at Fenway Park will now be equipped with locations for wheelchairs, a wheelchair accessible restroom, new interior appointments and furnishings. The Right Field Roof Renovations were designed by Somerville, MA based architects D'Agostino, Izzo & Quirk and the construction is being managed by William A. Berry and Son of Andover, MA.

These projects are significant in that they represent the completion of the improvements and repairs in the upper sections of Fenway Park, including foundation reinforcements and the use of steel and precast construction to ensure the longevity of Fenway Park.

Jeano Building Roof Repair
The roof of the Jeano Building, built in 1914, next door to Fenway Park will also be replaced during this off-season. The Jeano Building, which serves as the home of the Red Sox Front Offices, the Jordan's Third Base Deck, the Third Base Concourse and Game On! will also feature the addition of brand new windows that will mimic the original windows installed in 1914 and a restoration of the 4 Yawkey Way entry, the main entrance to the Red Sox Front Offices. The repair of the Jeano Building Roof is being done by Gilbane Building Company of Boston, Massachusetts.

All offseason projects are being overseen by Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse of Baltimore, Maryland.

"We are always focused on enhancing Fenway Park with the fan experience as a top priority," said Red Sox Senior Vice President of Planning and Development Janet Marie Smith. "The passion of our fans and their suggestions, along with the sensitive architecture of D'Agostino Izzo & Quirk, the structural skill of McNamara & Salvia and the artistic touch of Ashton Design, has defined projects which our ownership has financed with passion and commitment."

Seven (and now Eight!) Years of Fenway Park Improvements: Fenway Park has undergone a series of annual improvements since the Henry-Werner Group purchased the team in 2002. The Henry-Werner Group was the only candidate vying for ownership of the ballclub that proposed to save Fenway Park, America's Oldest and Most Beloved Ballpark. The team has since focused on a series of improvements, which could be done in the limited winter months available for construction with goals of increasing capacity by 10%, improving fan amenities such as concessions, restrooms, entry points, ADA accessibility and circulation including elevators and stairs and improving the ballpark exterior with new year-round restaurants, wider sidewalks, street trees and lighting. Most visible among them are the addition of the Green Monster Seats in 2003, the Right-Field Roof Seats in 2004, the EMC Club and State Street Pavilion in 2006, the Third Base Deck in 2007, and an expansion of the State Street Pavilion seating with the addition of more than 800 new seats and the unveiling of the new Coca-Cola Corner in 2008. Another new addition in 2008 was 'The Bleacher Bar,' a restaurant located under the center field bleachers that gives patrons a view of centerfield from a special two-way glass paneled retractable door, which remains open year-round.

Among the less visible changes, a new better-draining playing field was installed for the 2005 season. At the same time, the Red Sox clubhouse was expanded, including the construction of new state-of-the-art weight, training, rehab, and video facilities and the addition of a new batting cage off the tunnel between the clubhouse and the Red Sox dugout. A visitors batting cage was added on the service level adjacent to the visiting clubhouse in 2007 and a newly expanded press box and media workroom were created as well. In 2008, the seating bowl in the bleacher area was completely waterproofed to accommodate structural upgrades and stabilization along with adding more ADA compliant wheelchair and companion seating. Three new concourses-Yawkey Way (2002), the Big Concourse in right field (2003), and the Third Base Concourse (2004) along with the First Base Deck (2005) and the Jordan's Third Base Deck (2007) have improved circulation and provided new amenities, all designed to enhance the fan experience at Fenway Park.

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