Sox Unveil Fenway Improvements

The Red Sox Thursday greeted city officials—including mayor Thomas Menino—as they showed the "Year VII improvements" to Fenway Park. Included among the enhancements fans will see when the Sox open the 96th season at Fenway Tuesday against the Tigers are more seats, more space, improved circulation and more information.

"Every day Fenway Park creates opportunities for the Red Sox to build relationships with our fans," owner John Henry said in a statement released by the Sox. "We know that first impressions are lasting impressions. Whether it is a child's first game, an international traveler's introduction to baseball, or another day at the ballpark for a veteran fan, each visitor is special and we are committed to doing everything possible to ensure a superior experience."

The Fenway capacity increased by nearly 1,000 thanks to approximately 875 new seats as well as 100 standing-room only tickets. Capacity at Fenway is 39,928, just shy of the 40,000 the Sox envision and 10 percent more than the capacity prior to Henry's purchase of the club after the 2001 season.

New club and box seats were added to the State Street Pavilion, which was extended on both the left and right field sides. A new standing room area with "drink rails" was also added to the Pavilion. In addition, eight new suites were added while 12 suites on the EMC Level were renovated. Thirty-eight EMC Level suites have been renovated over the last two off-seasons.

In addition, the Sox added 15 wheelchair locations and 15 companion seats to the front row of the bleachers. Eight new wheelchair locations and eight companion seats were also added in the left field grandstand near a new elevator. All the wheelchair seats are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Along the left field corner in the State Street Pavilion are 412 new "Pavilion Reserved" seats as well as a "choir riser" standing room section, which the Sox believe will provide a unique view of Fenway. Many of the tickets in the State Street Pavilion suites and within the Pavilion Reserved will be sold on a single-game basis.

"We are ever-vigilant in seeking ways to give our fans the best experience possible at Fenway Park ," president Larry Lucchino said in a statement released by the Sox. "And we believe that our ambitious ‘Year VII Improvements' will not only bring more opportunity for more fans to visit the ballpark, but continue to advance our commitment to provide league-leading levels of fan service."

Other additions include color auxiliary scoreboards as well as expanded stairways, new restrooms and a new elevator.

"This ballpark is a touchstone for countless members of Red Sox Nation and baseball fans around the world," chairman Tom Werner said in a statement released by the Sox. "It is incumbent upon us to ensure we invest in its enhancement in a way that creates opportunities for the largest number of unique fans to visit while still preserving the scale and character that has made Fenway Park 'America's Most Beloved Ballpark.'"

Ownership has made annual renovations to Fenway since Henry, Werner and Lucchino and their partners bought the Sox. On March 25, 2005, ownership announced a long-term commitment to the park that will take Fenway beyond its 100th birthday in 2012 and make it the first active ballpark to celebrate a centennial.


Diehard managing editor Jerry Beach can be reached at diehardmag@yahoo.com. To receive a free issue of Diehard, call 888-501-5752.

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