The MLB’s Boston Red Sox have unveiled a raft of improvements to Fenway Park for 2018.
A new field-level group seating area, 30 new seats in left field, and an expanded netting system are among changes for the new season.
Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner, President and CEO Sam Kennedy, and Executive Vice President and COO Jonathan Gilula previewed this year’s improvements to Fenway Park in advance of the home opener on Thursday, April 5.
The preview highlighted new protective netting, a new field-level group seating area for fans, seating additions in left field, refreshed and rebranded spaces and signage as part of partnerships with Sam Adams and Coca-Cola.
There is also new content for the virtual reality stations in the Kids Concourse, and a number of new concession offerings managed by Aramark, Fenway Park’s concessionaire.
Gilbane Inc., with offices in Boston, was the general contractor for the 2018 improvements. DAIQ Architects, based in Somerville, provided the architectural work. Over $300 million has been invested in the improvement of Fenway Park since 2002.
Expanded Netting System
Protective netting has been extended beyond the dugouts at Fenway Park for the start of the 2018 season. The new netting system extends from Field Box Section 79 to Field Box Section 9, expanded from an area previously covering Field Box Section 61 to Field Box Section 29.
The system stands at 12ft, 8 inches above the playing field and is a new “field green” color to minimise the impact to sightlines in affected areas. All 30 Major League clubs extended protective netting for the 2018 season.
Jim Beam Dugout
The Jim Beam Dugout, a new field-level group seating area situated beyond the Red Sox dugout on the first base line, will accommodate groups of 25 people.
The new space is sold on a game-by-game basis and gives fans a view similar to the players by recreating the dugout experience with bats, helmets, and even a giant Gatorade cooler. Tickets for the space include a pregame meal in the National Car Rental Royal Rooters Club, a tour of the ballpark, and in-seat service for drinks and snacks during the game.
As part of a new partnership with Samuel Adams, the official beer of the Boston Red Sox, the Right Field Roof Deck has been refreshed and rebranded as the “Sam Deck.”
The space, which features a large bar and lounge seating area, will offer a variety of beers and many Sam Adams offerings, including Sam Boston Lager, Sam Seasonal Varieties, Sam ’76, and Rebel IPA.
The space will also include a number of Sam Adams-inspired food items such as loaded house nachos smothered in Sam Adams infused beef chili, steak frites with Sam Adams marinated Savenor’s prime steak tip, and Savenor’s short rib grilled cheese braised with Sam Lager with a side of home-style tater tots.
Above the space is a newly constructed neon Sam Adams sign that sits nearly 74ft long by 10ft high, and the deck will feature a number of new signature Sam Adams signage elements.
Sammy’s on 3rd
“Sammy’s on 3rd” has replaced the 3rd Base Saloon in the third base concourse area near Gate E for the 2018 season. The bar area, which was last renovated prior to the 2016 season, has been rebranded with a number of Sam Adams signage elements, such as new murals and beer barrel tops. The bar area will feature extensive craft beers, highlighted by Sam Adams flavors.
New Row of Seats in Left Field
A new row of seating in left field was added past the Visitors’ Dugout between Field Box sections 72 and 79 to accommodate 30 new seats. This additional row of seats is positioned behind the newly expanded protective netting system. The field wall in front of the new seats now aligns with the existing adjacent camera well.
Coca-Cola Corner Refresh
The club worked with longtime partner Coca-Cola to refresh and enhance the “Coca-Cola Corner” spaces that exist in left field on the State Street Pavilion concourses.
Green artificial turf flooring, new picnic tables and chairs, and a vintage Coca-Cola trailer are prominent new features of the revamped Coca-Cola Deck.
Aramark, Fenway Park’s concessionaire, will also introduce several new and locally inspired items to the Fenway Park concession menu in 2018.