The Yin and Yang of a Fenway Park visit in 2024

The place is either a shrine, a dump, or possibly a combination of both.
Minnesota Twins v Boston Red Sox
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The lyric Little Bandbox

The Yin

John Updike said it best: "Fenway Park, in Boston, is a lyric little bandbox of a ballpark." The park is ancient by baseball standards, and it is a Field of Dream trip into the past - a baseball shrine that the baseball faithful must visit.

The park is on the historic registry and is, along with Wrigley Field, the must-see trip to the past. For Fenway, it is where Babe Ruth and Ted Williams played. Where famous games were won (Carlton Fisk) or lost (Bucky Dent).

Management is not locked into the past and has constantly upgraded and expanded Fenway Park. Each year, it sees upgrades and changes to the footprint, with the latest being an expanded bleacher project and a new TV operation. The Red Sox have had a long-range plan for the park with an architectural firm—modernization and expansion without architectural character assignation.

The Yang

The park is a dump. I don't care how much green paint they smear all over it. The seating is atrocious, and the sight lines are even worse. My profile picture has me in the Monster Seats, which is the most expensive bleacher seat in all of baseball, and it is a bleacher seat.

The park's expansion is money-motivated, and the idea is to cram, and I do mean cram, a seat into every conceivable slot in the park. A park that even the famous King Rat of Boston Garden fame would ignore and stick to the third rail chances.

The place smells, but if you take the noxious Green Line, you will be immune since those ancient trolleys will anesthetize you to the Fenway Park odors.

I have not been to Fenway Park for a few years, but I go on road trips yearly to see them embarrass themselves elsewhere. I have visited almost every new stadium, and they put the lyric ballpark to shame. Only Oakland and Tampa are below Fenway on the dumpster fire list.

In the late 1950s, Tom Yawkey contemplated demolishing Fenway Park and going all in on a multi-purpose stadium whose primary goal was to entice an NFL team. That certainly would be an all-time stupid stadium decision. Since then, the idea of a replacement has occasionally surfaced, only to eventually and unfortunately die.

My first visit to the old ballyard was in 1953, and I am a (thankfully) former season ticket holder. If I wish to spend my money on a decrepit, worn, down old relic, I will look in the mirror and buy myself a cup of coffee.