Red Sox to add more Fenway Park seats


The Red Sox continue to add on. The expansion of seating is becoming a yearly event – similar to the yearly event of finishing last.

In the movie Fever Pitch a rotund Lenny Clarke is shown attempting to sit in a Fenway seat. The one big exception is actually placing seats in the ballpark that reflect the 2015 body type – I will be polite and say “husky.” A Kenyan marathoner would find it a tight squeeze.

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Fenway has changed through the years, but the Fenway from my youth and into adulthood was fairly stationary. Fenway was a dump. The seats were all on the lower level since the upper level was a mere 325 seats known as roof boxes. No Monster Seats, pavilions, luxury boxes and so on. Even the first majestic scoreboard was not added until the 1976 season.

The current ownership has dressed up the old gal as best possible and they deserve credit. The park has all the touches of what one would expect from a more modern edifice. Restrooms have improved (troughs are gone), the food is better, although, to me, rather pedestrian, more additions to the concession stands, kids areas and on and on. All generate that one item that any business loves – revenue.

The biggest generator of revenue in seating. Back in those dark days of the 1950s and 1960s and beyond it was fairly standard that on the rare occasions the park was sold out that means 34,000+ attendance. Now it fluctuates between 37,000 – 38,000 depending on day or night – and that brings us to the bleacher shirts.

There was a point in the early part of the current regime when attempts were made to sell those bleacher seats that are normally vacant to provide a hitters backdrop or don’t get killed by a fastball coming out of a plethora of white shirts. I believe they issued some type of green shirt to the 500 or so that sat in that area. That idea has gone the way of Edwards Dodo.

The other notable revenue enhancer was the extension of box seats. No, not the addition of a few years towards the field, but upwards. The original box seats were located below that concourse that runs closest to the field. Above that until you reached the area of the stanchions was the lower grandstand. Management – not sure which one – simply painted those lower grandstand seats red and passed them off as box seats.

The bullpen is and has been a target. Back in 1940 it was added to help a young hitter named – if I remember correctly – Ted Williams. A few years ago was another attempt to move it in a bit closer to add more seats. Since Fenway has “historical designation” that failed.

Since this article is boring enough, I will forgo the various additions to the seating inventory over the last ten or so years. A search provided me with several that were anywhere for under 200 to close to 800. So this is the latest one and it will be part of a 6.25M project.

The big addition is a simple expansion of the right field pavilion and a smaller addition to the left field pavilion. As a side note, I often sit in those areas and one has to have a bit of the Wallendas in them to navigate the aisle and to look down into the depths below.

The other upgrades are the usual improvement to concession areas, light tower LED replacement – Is Granite City Electric still the “official” whatever for electric lights? – Sorry, a digression. Back to improvement and the rest will be just some additional items for infrastructure improvement. All, of course, is dependent upon rubber stamp approval by the city.

That is the off-season scorecard for plant improvement, but what about product improvement? That is where BSI comes in for the next six months. And that will be comparable to building a match for the Great Pyramid of Giza.

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