04/02/2009 10:15 AM ET
Red Sox present "Year VIII Fenway Park Improvements" to Mayor Menino
Off-Season Improvements Vital to the Long Term Preservation of Fenway Park; Mayor also sampled new menu items introduced by Red Sox and ARAMARK
BOSTON, MA -- The Boston Red Sox today welcomed Mayor Thomas M. Menino and city officials to Fenway Park to showcase the "Year VIII Improvements" at America's Most Beloved Ballpark, which celebrates its 97th anniversary this year.
The Year VIII improvements are highlighted by the Right Field Roof repair and expansion, which marks the completion of the improvements and repairs in the upper sections of Fenway Park; concrete repair and waterproofing of the original 1912 seating bowl; and necessary repairs to the Jeano Building, including the replacement of its roof and restoration of the windows and doors.
"From Day One, the mission of this ownership group led by John Henry and Tom Werner has been to protect and preserve America's Most Beloved Ballpark for the long term. With the completion of the Year VIII improvements, Fenway Park is poised to serve fans for several decades," said Larry Lucchino, President/CEO of the Boston Red Sox. "And that preservation and protection would not have been possible without the support of the City of Boston and, most importantly, the vision of Mayor Thomas M. Menino. One of Mayor Menino's enduring legacies will be that the Boston Red Sox can play baseball at Fenway Park for the next 40 to 50 years."
All off-season projects were designed by D'Agostino Izzo & Quirk of Somerville, MA, and overseen by the Boston office of Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse.
The Year VIII Fenway Park Improvements include:
Right Field Roof Box Area Improvements
The debut of the expanded Right Field Roof Box area signifies the completion of improvements and repairs in the upper sections of Fenway Park, including foundation reinforcements and the use of steel and precast construction, which is consistent with the standards of the new construction projects of the past seven years.
The 383 Right Field Roof Box seats that previously existed have been replaced by 574 new seats, and 100 dedicated standing room spaces with drink rails have been added. Additionally, new stools with drink rails similar to those above the Green Monster and standing room have been added to new wood-decked terraces that will serve as the new home to Conigliaro's Corner. Expanded concession stands featuring new menu items and restrooms were also constructed on a brand new concrete concourse. The Budweiser Right Field Roof Deck has also been expanded with new seats at tables that offer in-seat service and an extended dedicated standing room platform.
The remaining private suites in Right Field (R19 - R21) have also been updated and improved, completing the transformation of the EMC Level. All suites at Fenway Park are now equipped with locations for wheelchairs, a wheelchair accessible restroom, and new interior appointments and furnishings.
The Right Field Roof Box area is topped by a new sign featuring one of the Red Sox' newest partners, the New England convenience store Cumberland Farms. The neon sign features the blue and green logo of the Canton, MA-based organization, the largest convenience store in the Northeast.
The Right Field Roof Box area improvements were constructed by William A. Berry and Son of Andover, MA.
1912 Seating Bowl Repair and Waterproofing
A large portion of the lower seating bowl, between Sections 14 and 28, was repaired and waterproofed during the off-season. Originally constructed in 1912, this is the oldest part of Fenway Park and this project was undertaken to successfully prolong the life of the ballpark.
The repair required removing and reinstalling the Dugout Seats, Field Box Seats, Loge Box Seats and Grandstand Seats in these sections with new or refurbished seats. All Field Box Seats, originally installed in the 1970s, were replaced by seats with cushioned bottoms and cup-holders, and end standards replicating the 1934 chairs, making them uniform with other premium seats in the ballpark. The Loge Box Seats were also replaced with new seats containing cup-holders. The blue Grandstand Seats, originally installed in 1934 and the only wooden seats left in Major League Baseball, have been refurbished and fitted with a self-rising spring mechanism that will enable the seat to retract automatically once a patron stands up. This will provide more room in the seating rows and improved mobility for fans entering or exiting the rows. Every Grandstand seat in these sections now has no less than an industry standard 18 inches in width.
The removal of the asphalt poured on cracked or broken portions of the concrete to provide temporary fixes over decades resulted in a lowering of the central aisle between the Field Box Seats and the Loge Box Seats by approximately 8 inches, which will provide fans sitting in the lower rows of the Loge Boxes with improved views of the playing field. The work in the 1912 seating bowl also included modifications to two wheelchair and companion seating locations in the Grandstand sections, creating elevated platforms and improving sightlines.
All seats were 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 was done by NER Construction of Wilmington, MA, who in the 2007/08 off-season completed a similar scope of work in the Bleacher sections.
Jeano Building Repairs
The roof of the Jeano Building was replaced during the off-season. The Jeano Building, which was built in 1914 next door to Fenway Park, serves as the home of the Red Sox Front Offices, the visiting team's batting cage, the newly expanded Jordan's Third Base Deck, the Third Base Concourse and Game On! Boston. Over the years, the building has housed automotive based companies, radio and television broadcasting studios and a bowling alley. Originally called the John B. Smith Building, it was renamed "Jeano" to honor Jean Yawkey, the wife of former Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey when he bought the building in 1960.
The replacement of the roof was also accompanied by necessary complementary changes including the addition of a new parapet, changes to the windows and doors, and additional masonry work. The windows of the building, which were originally installed in the 1970s, were replaced by replica 1914 windows. Replica 1914 wooden doors have replaced a steel door at 4 Yawkey Way in a 12-foot wide entry way designed for a car elevator that was at one time housed in the space.
The Jeano Building repairs were performed by Gilbane Building Company of Boston, MA.
New Concession Areas and New Menu Items
A new Red Sox Legends BBQ stand featuring BBQ chicken, BBQ turkey legs and BBQ beef ribs platters with corn on the cob and potato salad will open on Yawkey Way adjacent to Gate D and the NESNHD Stage.
The Red Sox and ARAMARK also introduced several new concession items that showcase Boston's distinctive tastes, feature new bold and spicy flavors, and highlight the use of local and seasonal ingredients. Some of the new menu items fans will find to further enhance their ballpark experience at Fenway Park include: shrimp rolls and steak tips at the new Surf and Turf Grill on the newly expanded Jordan's Third Base Deck; Gobbler sandwich (turkey, stuffing, gravy and cranberry); made-to-order chicken and beef tacos and burritos; boneless chicken wings (sweet and spicy and buffalo); and three sliders in a bag. New for the kids are on-premise photo cookies, hand scooped ice cream featuring new Red Sox flavors, and fresh-popped popcorn. Samples of these items were available for Mayor Menino as part of the walk-through.
Along with all the new items to be introduced at the ballpark in 2009, the club also displayed 'The Starting Nine' items available during games in April as part of Fenway Family Hour. During the first hour after gates open, nine popular concession items including Fenway Franks, Pizza Slices, Bag of Burgers, Pretzels, Pop Corn, Cotton Candy, Fruit Cups, Veggie Cups and Hoodsie ice-cream cups will be available for up to 50% off regular prices.
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. 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 Jordan's 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.