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Old 07-06-2006, 01:36 PM   #1
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More Fenway Park Renovations

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Globe
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By Steve Bailey, Globe Columnist | July 5, 2006

Janet Marie Smith, the Red Sox's Most Valuable Planner, and her bosses continue to make the Sox's former owners, who tried to bulldoze Fenway Park, look like knuckleheads.

The latest twist in Smith's marvelous reinvention of Fenway: the Bleacher Bar, a restaurant in centerfield that will look out onto Fenway Park -- and you won't even need a ticket to get in.

The restaurant is planned under the bleachers in a large area that previously housed much of the park's sound system -- since distributed around the park -- and the visitors' batting cage. A large grate in center field -- just next to the large garage door -- is expected to be replaced with a window that will look out onto the field.

The challenge, says club spokesman Doug Bailey, is to develop a window that will keep the lights from the restaurant from shining onto the field and disturbing play. ``The view might be like looking through sunglasses," he says.

The Bleacher Bar will be open year-round, and customers will enter from Lansdowne Street. The Sox are still talking to several restaurateurs about operating the place. One good bet: entertainment entrepreneur Patrick Lyons, who last year opened Game On! in Fenway Park. The new restaurant is expected to be open for the '07 season, at the earliest.

I'm required to disclose to you that The New York Times, which owns The Globe, is a part owner of the Red Sox. Now if I could only use my influence as an owner to get Smith to do something about one of her few miscues: that unfortunate orange Gulf sign in left field.
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Old 07-12-2006, 10:45 PM   #2
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Re: More Fenway Park Renovations

Quote:
Originally Posted by statler
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Globe
...
The latest twist in Smith's marvelous reinvention of Fenway: the Bleacher Bar, a restaurant in centerfield that will look out onto Fenway Park -- and you won't even need a ticket to get in.

The restaurant is planned under the bleachers in a large area that previously housed much of the park's sound system -- since distributed around the park -- and the visitors' batting cage. A large grate in center field -- just next to the large garage door -- is expected to be replaced with a window that will look out onto the field.

The challenge, says club spokesman Doug Bailey, is to develop a window that will keep the lights from the restaurant from shining onto the field and disturbing play. ``The view might be like looking through sunglasses," he says.
...
Would be better if they could do it the way it's pictured below, rather than a 'closed-off' restaurant.

You'll be paying a premium for the restaurant food anyway (which better be damn good if they want this venture to last), so you are not really seeing the game for 'free'. You could just buy a ticket for an actual seat and get the standard-offer park food along with it. Unless, of course, you want to explain to your relatives in Peoria about the novelty of the 'one time you ate under the bleachers' at Fenway, which is what this kitsch concept is all about.

Looking toward the 'free viewing walkway' from inside the park...


...and the same area in question looking down from the walkway above it, while still inside the park.


(Lunch-time baseball games--a perk of my employment. WooHoo!)
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bankers & Tradesman
New Restaurant Planned For Hub?s Fenway Park
By Thomas Grillo
Reporter


This artist?s rendering depicts the new restaurant to be built under the bleachers at Fenway Park.

The Boston Red Sox have signed a lease with Patrick Lyons to open a restaurant under the center field bleacher seats that look onto their storied field and open onto Lansdowne Street. Lyons, who owns Game On!, Avalon and Axis in the shadow of Fenway Park, won the bid from the Sox brass following competition among several restaurant operators, sources said on Friday.

?I think it?s a great idea and if anyone can make it work it?s Lyons, because he knows that street,? said Jamie Tipping, co-owner of the Boston Sail Loft and one of the hopefuls who unsuccessfully bid on the project. ?It will blend well into his plans to raze his Lansdowne Street nightclubs and replace them with a new venue. I?m sure he will make sure that all the restaurants and concepts on that street jell.?

Sam Hawkey, one of the brokers from The Dartmouth Co. who handled the deal, said the 3,000-square-foot space has been available for a while. They searched for someone who not only could transform the unique space but fit the family-friendly atmosphere in the nation?s most beloved ballpark.

?The space itself is in raw condition. It?s basically a vacant cavity under the bleachers,? he said. ?Plus the exterior wall is historic, so it?s not just a matter of the Sox handing someone the keys and letting them cut through the wall and create an opening.?

One source told Banker & Tradesman that among the competitors were the Baseball Tavern; Jack Kiley, owner of the Sevens Ale House on Beacon Hill; and the Cask?n Flagon. The base rent will be in the $35 to $45 per-square-foot range, but the new owner faces renovation costs of up to $2 million, the source added.

William Richardson, president of the Fenway Civic Association, said the team held neighborhood meetings to give residents a heads-up that the restaurant was coming.

?Some neighbors believe there are too many places to drink already in the Fenway neighborhood,? he said. ?But I don?t think another bar will attract more people; it will just give people who come here more choices. I?m not opposed to the idea.?

Last winter, Janet Marie Smith, the Red Sox?s architect who is behind many of the recent improvements at the park, went looking for the right eatery in an area formerly occupied by the batting cages.

Originally, the team wanted a pub that would look out onto the diamond during game time. But Sox players worried that glare from the restaurant could have an adverse effect on batters. Still, the restaurant will have a view onto the field on non-game days.

Richardson said he has been encouraged by Lyons? plans to lower the capacity of his Lansdowne Street nightclubs when they raze Axis and Avalon to make way for a new performance center.

In May, the Boston Redevelopment Authority approved a 2,500-capacity music hall at 15 Lansdowne St. The Lyons Group, the owner and developer, plans to demolish the nightclubs in order to construct the 35,000-square-foot music hall. The facility will feature a ground floor, a small mezzanine and a large balcony level, resulting in a better and less crowded experience for concert-goers, according to the developer.

The adjacent Modern Club will be renovated into a new restaurant, further extending the hours of people visiting the street. Additionally, the Embassy Club space will be transformed into restaurant space. To be completed in the near future, the project includes a second phase ? consisting of a 14,000-square-foot, 450-person function facility to be built on the upper level.

Also under discussion are plans for One Kenmore, the $400 million residential and retail development over the Massachusetts Turnpike between Kenmore Square and Fenway Park.

The latest plan for the parcel offers 1.3 million square feet of development on four so-called air-rights parcels that straddle the turnpike. If approved, the project would be built on 75,000 square feet of land bounded by Brookline Avenue and Maitland and Beacon streets, including the Yawkey commuter rail station parking lot and 85,000 square feet of air rights.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino said he hopes the projects will generate the rebirth of Lansdowne Street. ?I?m excited to see Lansdowne Street getting the facelift that it deserves,? he said.
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Old 08-06-2007, 01:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Lyons, who owns Game On!, Avalon and Axis in the shadow of Fenway Park, won the bid from the Sox brass following competition among several restaurant operators, sources said on Friday.

?I think it?s a great idea and if anyone can make it work it?s Lyons, because he knows that street,?
more like...owns the street?
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Old 08-06-2007, 01:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally, the team wanted a pub that would look out onto the diamond during game time. But Sox players worried that glare from the restaurant could have an adverse effect on batters. Still, the restaurant will have a view onto the field on non-game days.
That's too bad, though quite understandable. How will they cover the windows during games?
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Old 08-06-2007, 01:27 PM   #6
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The Cincinnati Red's Great American Ballpark has a restaurant in center field. The window onto the field is a tinted one-way that doubles as the bater's eye. The double use is a neat design, in my opinion.
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Old 08-06-2007, 03:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Newman
Quote:
Originally, the team wanted a pub that would look out onto the diamond during game time. But Sox players worried that glare from the restaurant could have an adverse effect on batters. Still, the restaurant will have a view onto the field on non-game days.
That's too bad, though quite understandable. How will they cover the windows during games?
They can have something that retracts in front of the windows during games.
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Old 08-06-2007, 07:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underground
The Cincinnati Red's Great American Ballpark has a restaurant in center field. The window onto the field is a tinted one-way that doubles as the bater's eye. The double use is a neat design, in my opinion.
That's one of the only good features of an other-wise plain and unimaginative ballpark. Ah well, the Reds play there so it's not like anyone is missing anything.
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Old 08-07-2007, 09:57 AM   #9
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This is a project that I'm involved with......... we were on site the other day throwing around ideas and let me tell you, this place will be small but absolutely amazing!!!!!
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Old 08-07-2007, 06:48 PM   #10
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I love Janet Marie Smith.
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Old 08-07-2007, 06:54 PM   #11
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Use the kind of glass the Reds used. It'll work. I figure, it's just a matter of time before Lyons becomes a partial owner of the Sox.
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:27 AM   #12
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Should 'redevelopment' of existing space be considered as 'new development' or it still 'existing development'?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Banker and Tradesman
Sox Seek to Fill Up With Restaurant
By Thomas Grillo
Reporter

Days after the Red Sox selected a nightclub czar to open a pub under the Fenway Park bleachers, the team is seeking a restaurateur to fill its space at the former WBCN site, Banker & Tradesman learned Wednesday.

?It?s a really cool building,? said Sam Hawkey, The Dartmouth Co. broker handling the deal for the ball club. ?There aren?t many spaces around with 14-foot ceilings that have the potential of a gorgeous facade and sidewalk seating.?

But at least one commercial broker says that filling the space at 1265 Boylston St. will be challenging on the gritty section of Boston?s Fenway neighborhood. In addition, he said the 8,000-square-foot vacancy comes at a time when many eateries are struggling to fill seats.

?That?s a large space and I don?t see it working unless you can get some type of destination location that offers quality food and service or a magnificent sports bar,? said

Jules Cavadi, a longtime commercial broker. ?But anyone who fits that description doesn?t want to be near Fenway Park with its rowdy sports crowd that has proved time and time again to exhibit bad behavior. Any new restaurant wants the professional clientele of downtown, North Station, the Financial District or Faneuil Hall.?

The Red Sox bought the one-story facility from Hemisphere Broadcasting Co. in 2005 for an undisclosed price. Over the last few months, the team has had the space gutted to make way for a restaurant.

Last week, Banker & Tradesman reported that Patrick Lyons, owner of Game On! at Brookline and Lansdowne streets, signed an agreement with the Sox to build a 3,000-square-foot space restaurant under the bleachers in center field in an area formerly occupied by the batting cages.
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Old 08-20-2007, 11:25 AM   #13
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project info for 1265 Boylston St

project info for 1265 Boylston St:
http://www.dartco.com/2974
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Old 08-21-2007, 02:17 PM   #14
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[quote="Banker and Tradesman"]Sox Seek to Fill Up With Restaurant
By Thomas Grillo
Reporter


ďThatís a large space and I donít see it working unless you can get some type of destination location that offers quality food and service or a magnificent sports bar,Ē said [quote]

ESPN Zone???
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Old 10-01-2007, 01:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bankers & Tradesman
Baseball Team Making Pitch For Another Site in Fenway

Red Sox Eye Parking Garage on Lansdowne Street, Plan to Build Facility Featuring First-Floor Retail

By Thomas Grillo
Reporter


B&T staff photo by Thomas Grillo
The Boston Red Sox plan to purchase this parking garage
at 49-67 Lansdowne St. in Boston.


The Boston Red Sox want to add another property to their lineup around Fenway Park.

Michael Dee, chief operating officer for the Boston Red Sox, told Banker & Tradesman that the ballclub intends to purchase the parking garage behind the park at 49-67 Lansdowne St. in Boston. When the team secures the 2-story concrete building, Dee said the Red Sox would raze the facility and replace it with one of about the same size, which would feature first-floor retail.

?We don?t want to go into the details of that deal,? said Dee. ?What?s important to us is securing the garage and preserving the view over and above the garage looking toward the Green Monster and the Citgo sign. It would be a shame to just have a garage there. We envision something that has a caf?.?

The Red Sox ownership quietly has been buying property around the park since a consortium headed by John Henry bought the team in 2002 for $660 million. So far the team, under the name of New England Sports Ventures, has purchased the former Sophia?s Latin Bar and Restaurant at 1270 Boylston St., 160-170 Ipswich St., the Town Taxi garages at 154-156 Ipswich St., radio station WBCN?s former headquarters at 1265 Boylston St. and a McDonald?s restaurant at 1282 Boylston St.

Janet Marie Smith, the architect who handles real estate deals for the Red Sox, said the parking garage with retail could continue the transformation of Lansdowne Street into a 24-hour attraction.

?We?ve talked to [parking garage owner] John Rosenthal about a desire to make the garage a part of what we see is the future of Lansdowne Street,? Smith said. ?To date, that includes what we?ve done with Game On! and the Bleacher Bar to be built under the center field bleachers. More restaurants and retail along the street will make Lansdowne a more family-friendly, year-round, daylong activity environment. It?s part of our ongoing thematic pursuit in the area.?

The parking garage is assessed at $4.1 million. Rosenthal bought it in 1993 for $2.5 million.

Rosenthal is the developer of the proposed One Kenmore mega-project to be built over the Massachusetts Turnpike in Kenmore Square. Under his plan, the 1.2 million-square-foot development would be built above the turnpike and on several adjacent parcels. The project will include 353 apartments, 1,344 parking spaces, and 300,000 square feet of retail and offices in three buildings with seven, 13 and 17 floors. A 6-story garage would be wrapped around one of the buildings.

Rosenthal declined to comment on negotiations with the Red Sox over purchase of his parking garage.

?The New Buzzword?

William Richardson, president of the Fenway Civic Association, said he is unaware that the Sox planned to buy the parking lot. But his group is concerned about any increase in parking in the neighborhood.

?The neighborhood, the city and the Red Sox need to have serious discussions about what the team needs for parking and what?s currently available,? he said. ?The team may not own all the lots in the neighborhood but they are still available for their customers. The streets are already congested and adding parking spaces will force more people to drive to the park. That?s unacceptable.?

Dee declined to provide specifics about how much parking the team wants or where any new parking would be built.

While the Red Sox have not been shy about buying up real estate around Fenway Park, the details of what they have paid remains a closely guarded secret. Typically, when real estate is sold in Massachusetts, a deed is recorded at the appropiate state or country registry of deeds. The deed is a public document that transfers ownership of real estate. It contains the names of the old and new owners, purchase price and a description of the property.

The Sox deals are shrouded in secrecy because they paid more than the nominal amount listed on the deed. For example, public records say the team paid a dollar for the McDonald?s property in 2005, but the restaurant has an assessed value of $2.7 million. In the case of the Town Taxi buildings, the privately held Red Sox organization purchased the corporation that owns the buildings, 160 Ipswich Inc. As a result, the transaction did not require any public disclosure. The assessed value of the properties is $1.1 million, according to the city?s Assessing Department.

Also in 2005, the Red Sox, under the names of 1270 Boylston Street Realty Trust and New England Sports Ventures Real Estate, paid another dollar for the former Sophia?s Latin Bar and Restaurant, an 8,370-square-foot dance club that has an assessed value of $1.46 million. NESV and the 1265 Boylston Street Realty Trust purchased 1265 Boylston St. for a mere $10. The 16,000-square-foot building is assessed at $1.8 million.

The purchases were well-timed. Last year, the state Legislature approved $55 million in infrastructure improvements around Fenway Park that officials say will benefit the Red Sox, Kenmore Square and the Longwood Medical Area.

Among the plans for the money include planning, design and construction to upgrade the MBTA?s Yawkey, Kenmore, Fenway, Longwood and Ruggles stations. Roadway improvements will be made to the Sears Rotary; Ipswich, Maitland and Francis streets; Brigham Circle; and Yawkey Way. In addition, new traffic signals will be installed on Brookline and Commonwealth avenues; Boylston, Beacon and Ruggles streets; and Melnea Cass Boulevard.

Dee said the improvements will go a long way toward making the area around Fenway Park a 365-day-a-year experience.

?The real estate equivalent to OBP [on-base percentage] is ?lifestyle center,?? he said. ?That?s the new buzzword and our goal is to create a lifestyle neighborhood that is not necessarily laden with high-rise buildings, but one that brings charm to the area the way Newbury Street complements the Back Bay. That?s a big priority for us.?
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Old 10-25-2007, 01:01 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESPN.com
Fenway's the best ballpark we've got

By Jim Caple
Page 2
Updated: October 24, 2007, 2:47 PM ET

BOSTON -- Yankee Stadium probably is the most important athletic facility in America. The House That Ruth Built is where Notre Dame won one for the Gipper, the NFL Giants won one for the ages, and the New York Yankees just won and won and won; where Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali and Billy Martin all fought; where Roger Clemens and George W. Bush both pitched; and where the religious faithful listened to the voice of the Pope and the voice of God (otherwise known as Bob Sheppard).

And, after next season, the Yankees will give history a Bronx cheer and move into a new stadium.

Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox will go on playing in the same beloved ballpark that has been their home for almost a century. And despite its 95 years, Fenway Park is better than ever.

Page 2 toured and ranked all the major league stadiums four summers ago, and the top ratings went to the newer retro-parks. (I'm still ticked that history was not a category but bathrooms were.) Of the older ballparks, Fenway finished second to Wrigley Field. And, at the time, Wrigley was my favorite park (which is different than being the best).

But, in the years since, the Red Sox have improved Fenway to the point where it is better than Wrigley, and Fenway has replaced Wrigley as my favorite.

For years, both the Yankees and the Red Sox complained about their old stadiums -- whining that they were falling apart, could not be renovated and needed to be replaced. I remember the news conference before the 1999 All-Star Game, during which the Red Sox described their proposed new park as if it were a done deal -- behaving the way developers always do when talking about how a new freeway, parking ramp or shopping mall will revitalize an existing neighborhood. (I think the next phase of the Red Sox plan was to convert the Old North Church into a Starbucks.)

Unlike in New York, people came to their senses in Boston, and the Red Sox decided to take advantage of what they had: a precious jewel of a ballpark that draws fans from all over the country and around the world, no matter how high the team raises ticket prices. And then the Red Sox went ahead and spruced up the park.

The changes aren't that big or dramatic. They've added some seats on the roof and on top of the Green Monster, expanded the concessions areas in the right- and left-field corners, and turned Yawkey Way into a game-day street fair. But, like the addition of Dave Roberts to the 2004 roster, those little changes have made a big difference. Space always has been at a premium at Fenway, and the new concessions areas really open up some extra space for the fans (and open up their wallets even further).

And it wasn't like the Red Sox were splitting the atom, either. I mean, who hadn't looked at the Green Monster and thought: "Wouldn't it be cool if they could put some seats there?" The Red Sox simply utilized areas that previously went to waste under lazy prior ownership.

It doesn't get much better than those Green Monster seats.
The best part of the additions is that it's difficult to tell what's new and what's old. Every improvement and addition has been made carefully, in order to preserve the integrity of the existing park -- so that it all looks like it's been there since Ted Williams' head still was warm and connected to the greatest hitter in the league.

"The biggest compliment I can pay to it is that I haven't noticed the changes at all,'" Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein says. "The impressive thing is that everything looks like it's been part of the place for 90 years. You don't have a lot of mixed sections. A lot of it has changed, but it all is done in keeping with the history of the park."

It isn't just the added seats and concessions, though. Boston's varied and inspired selection of music -- from "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" to Celtic punk -- is a welcome change from the usual ballpark fare and much better than yet another rendition of "YMCA." The music helps create an infectious and festive energy, no more so than when fans stand and sing along to that most patriotic, most traditional and most sacred of ballpark songs: "Sweet Caroline."

The best part of Fenway Park, however, remains its history.

I know a new stadium would have all the typical modern amenities, as well as seats wide enough that sitting through an extra-inning game wouldn't be like being trapped on a cross-country flight in a middle seat between Oprah and Hurley from "Lost." Fans wouldn't be stuck with the occasional expensive seat behind a steel beam that blocks their view so much they can't even see Manny Ramirez's dreadlocks flopping as he jogs out a ground ball. And perhaps there would even be enough additional seats that you wouldn't need to be related to John Henry or Larry Lucchino to get a ticket. But so much history would have been lost here -- just as it will be when Yankee Stadium is replaced.

Fenway Park is where Babe Ruth pitched, Ted Williams hit and Carlton Fisk danced down the first-base line. It's where drunk fans have mercilessly heckled everyone from Ty Cobb to Barry Bonds. It's where -- like Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones in "Field of Dreams" -- you can sit in the stands and feel connected to nearly a century of baseball. The history is so rich here, you can practically smell the Babe's beer breath.

(Or maybe that's just the fan about to throw up in the seat next to you.)

You just can't replace that type of history, no matter how much money you squeeze out of the taxpayers and tourists renting cars. It's just a shame the Yankees didn't realize that. Frankly, any stadium in which the Babe hit a home run should be protected by federal statute.

The Red Sox did the right thing by preserving Fenway. And they did an even better thing by improving it.
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Old 10-26-2007, 09:42 AM   #17
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There is an beautiful time-lapse video in today's Boston.com under the headline "Roaring and Soaring" Check out the link to "Go Sox lights up the Prudential tower." It's a time-lapse video..so awesome! I don't know how to post the link or I would have: Van, after a few days, you can delete this. It's another reason as to what makes Boston one of the absolutely coolest cities!
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Old 11-07-2007, 09:35 PM   #18
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Re: More Fenway Park Renovations

Fenway is amazing. Janet Marie Smith, John Henry and his ownership, and Theo Epstein have truly made this one of the greatest club teams in all of sports, worldwide.
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Old 11-08-2007, 05:30 AM   #19
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Re: More Fenway Park Renovations

The renovations this winter seem to be:
> construction of the year-round field-level restaurant
> new bleacher seats
> replacing the rotting roof that hangs over the grandstand seats
> completion of the State Street Pavilion (down the 3rd base and LF line) and replacing the temporary right field roof boxes constructed for the 1999 all star game

From the Oct 25 Boston Globe
Quote:
Fenway eatery on the menu
Restaurant next upgrade for '08
By Kevin Paul Dupont, Globe Staff | October 25, 2007

Fenway Park, John Updike's "lyric little bandbox," could have the bags put away and the foul lines rubbed out for the season following Game 2 of the World Series.

But even if the Red Sox and Rockies return for a game or two next week, the offseason at the corner of Yawkey Way and Boylston Street will be anything but idle. Once the final out of the 2007 season is in the scorebook, workers will begin a number of remodeling tasks at the 95-year-old ballyard, including the construction of a year-round field-level restaurant tucked into the some 4,000 square feet of vacant space under the center-field bleachers.

The project, dubbed "The Bleacher Bar" restaurant, is expected to be finished for a March 2008 opening, and stands to be the most talked-about change in the evolving and beloved Back Bay architectural icon. According to staff architect Janet Marie Smith, the grand overseer of sprucing up Fenway, the restaurant will inhabit the space behind the huge garage door in center field and will allow patrons (approximately 150 maximum) to sit at dining tables and peer out to the field.

"For the price of a hamburger," said Smith, noting that some 300,000 visitors come to Fenway year round for tours of the old ballpark, "those folks can wander in and take a peek, too."

There is no telling yet, said Smith, whether patrons will be able to sit in the restaurant while games are being played. Such a decision will be made, she said, only after testing it under game-like conditions, most importantly getting a read on how the restaurant's lighting might affect fielders and batters.

"This is squarely in the batter's eye," said Smith, speaking in her office early last night. "We'll have to see if the players are comfortable with the glare. No doubt, though, folks in the restaurant will be able to watch batting practice, and then in January, come in and see the snow fall."

Bleacherites, some 6,500 strong, will return in April to find all new seats across center and right field. But according to Smith, the look of the seats will not change. They will be the same color, size, and shape, manufactured from blow-molded plastic, with standard arm rests.

The Red Sox began selling the existing bleacher seats at $550 per pair weeks ago and the seats will be ripped out and shipped to purchasers in the offseason. According to Smith, one-third of the stock could not be sold, due to design and configuration of the seats.

"You lose one for every two you take out," she said.

And how are sales going?

"I think they're all gone," she said.

Even the most starstruck baseball fans, had they cast an eye toward the blue grandstand seats around the park, last night would have noticed that hundreds upon hundreds of the seats, which date to 1934, are in dire need of scraping and painting. The club with the most expensive ticket prices, on average, in the majors has old, wooden grandstand seats that, if left at a Goodwill box, likely would not be accepted.

The repair-and-paint issue, noted Smith, has become somewhat sensitive among Red Sox officials. They realize the need to paint them, but open for debate is how to go about applying the fresh coat. The most thorough method, she said, would be to remove the seats and strip the paint off with heavy-duty chemicals. But the most thorough method might not be the most aesthetically pleasing.

"It's kind of a sore subject around here," Smith acknowledged. "They've made it through almost 75 years, and I know I don't want to be the one that junks 'em. They're hand-painted, and there are some people who feel the layers of paint, and the patina of the paint, truly are part of the character of the park. We've all seen the close-up pictures of those seats, shot straight-on, and they are unique to Fenway. As I hear the debate, I have to say, I have mixed emotions over how to proceed."

Construction workers this offseason also will be busy with a number of "second-deck" repairs and remodeling, many of them, said Smith, aimed at replacing the rotting roof that hangs over the grandstand seats. The State Street Pavilion, which occupies considerable space atop the roof down the third base and left-field side, will be completed. Out along the right-field roof, the temporary boxes erected for the 1999 All-Star Game will be replaced with a permanent structure.

The Fenway property, according to Smith, totals 7 1/2 acres, or about half the size of Wrigley Field, home to the Chicago Cubs.

All the changes, said Smith, are being made with an eye on the Sox remaining for years to come in the lyric little bandbox. AT&T Park in San Francisco, the modern-day jewel that houses the Giants, is built on 21 acres. Of all the obstacles the Sox face in rehabbing and remodeling Fenway, said Smith, the biggest challenge is lack of space.

"Space, space, space," Smith said emphatically, another sellout crowd of some 37,000 streaming into park for the first pitch. "No doubt the age of the park has proven to be manageable. We've been able to realize most of our goals, in part because we haven't attempted to build out to 50,000 seats, but something just shy of 40,000. And the age of Fenway took time for us to digest and understand, but it's been good to us."

Built in 1912, Fenway's 100th anniversary is 4 1/2 years away. The materials used in the ongoing renovations, said Smith, are typically rated to last upward of a half-century. Like the building goods in the old yard, said Smith, they'll last even longer with proper care.

"All of it is aimed," said Smith, "at Fenway lasting another generation."

And how long is that?

"Well, the reason we say 'generation'," said Smith, offering a wry smile, "is that we don't know. Look at your own family tree, I guess . . . is a generation 20 years, 40 years?"

Based on the deep, deep roots of Fenway's brick-and-concrete flora and fauna, time cannot be measured in years, but in innings, memories, and work repair orders.
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Old 11-08-2007, 09:47 AM   #20
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Re: More Fenway Park Renovations

State Street pavilion? What is it, and how do we get another State Street here when there's already one downtown?
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