The Boston Red Sox announced their plans for improvements to Fenway Park for the 2010 season, including padded seating in big-buck sections, repairs to the main bowl's concrete infrastructure, the installation of new restrooms, and the addition of new concession items.
The Boston Red Sox today welcomed Mayor Thomas M. Menino and city officials to review the "Year IX Improvements" at Fenway Park, which celebrates its 98th anniversary this year. This annual rite of spring occurs before the opening of each baseball season to showcase the Red Sox and City of Boston's collaboration on Fenway Park.
"We are entering the last inning of improvements to Fenway Park, and this old ballpark has never looked better," said Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino. "This American icon that once was cramped and congested now has more seats and spaces, wide open concourses, new and improved facilities and many more food and beverage options for our fans. Leading up to its 100th Anniversary in 2012, our focus has been always to improve and expand the physical structure without disturbing the warmth, charm and authenticity that surrounds this ballpark."
The 2010 Fenway Park Improvements were designed to improve internal circulation, ingress and egress, to expand concessions and bathroom facilities, and to insure the long-term structural viability of the ballpark. They include the following:
1. Left Field 1934 Seating Bowl Concrete Repair, Waterproofing and New Seats
The concrete in the Lower Left Field Seating Bowl, originally constructed in 1933-34, has been repaired and waterproofed. As part of this project, the Dugout Seats, Field Box Seats and Loge Box Seats have been replaced with new seats and now contain cup-holders. All Dugout Seats and Field Box Seats in these areas will also have cushioned seats. In the Left Field Grandstand area, the original blue wooden seats (only wooden seats left in Major League Baseball) have been refurbished and fitted with self-rising mechanisms that enable the seat to retract automatically once a patron stands up. This will allow for more room in the seating rows and improved mobility for fans entering or exiting the rows. Additionally, a new row of Grandstand seats has been added to the back of Grandstand sections 29, 30, and 31. The removal of the asphalt poured on cracked or broken portions of the concrete to provide temporary fixes over decades resulted in the lowering of the central cross aisle between the Field Box Seats and the Loge Box Seats in the left field portions of the 1934 bowl by approximately 8 inches. This is consistent with work performed last year to the 1912 seating bowl and will provide fans sitting in the lower rows of the Loge Boxes with improved views of the playing field. The wheelchair and companion positions in the Loge Box were also improved this year and relocated from Section 31 to Section 32. The sight lines from the new positions were enhanced by creating elevated platforms and positioning the companion seats next to the wheelchair locations rather than in front of them. Several seats formerly placed in the lower aisle were removed for comfort and circulation.
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 completed by NER Construction of Wilmington, MA, who also completed a similar scope of work during the 2007/2008 and 2008/2009 off-seasons in other areas of the ballpark.
2. New Restrooms and Concession Enhancements Behind Home Plate
In an effort to create additional space, improve circulation and enhance the fan experience, the concession stand behind Home Plate at the top of the Grandstand has been replaced by new expanded stands that offer a wider variety of food and beverage items. Also, seven original archways, first built in 1912 and bricked over for many years, were re-opened and restored, which will improve air circulation in that area of the ballpark.
The restrooms that previously resided in this location on the Grandstand concourse have been removed; and new, larger restrooms with additional fixtures for both men and women have been constructed on a Mezzanine area positioned above Gate D, and are accessible via a new staircase that connects to the top of Grandstand Section 19 (behind home plate). The new restrooms are more than double, in both size and number of fixtures, compared to the previously existing ones. Additionally, two new ADA accessible family restrooms have been added in an area adjacent to the new concession stands on the Grandstand concourse towards first base.