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Here are your Fenway improvements

03.29.10 at 10:05 am ET
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The Red Sox have announced their latest round of Fenway Park improvements. (AP)

The Red Sox just sent out a press release announcing some of the Fenway Park improvements fans will be able to witness when Opening Day rolls around Sunday night. Per the release, here they are:

1. Left Field 1934 Seating Bowl Concrete Repair, Waterproofing and New Seats

The concrete in the Lower Left Field Seating Bowl, originally constructed in 1933-34, has been repaired and waterproofed.  As part of this project, the Dugout Seats, Field Box Seats and Loge Box Seats have been replaced with new seats and now contain cup-holders.  All Dugout Seats and Field Box Seats in these areas will also have cushioned seats.  In the Left Field Grandstand area, the original blue wooden seats (only wooden seats left in Major League Baseball) have been refurbished and fitted with self-rising mechanisms that enable the seat to retract automatically once a patron stands up.  This will allow for more room in the seating rows and improved mobility for fans entering or exiting the rows.

Additionally, a new row of Grandstand seats has been added to the back of Grandstand sections 29, 30, and 31.

The removal of the asphalt poured on cracked or broken portions of the concrete to provide temporary fixes over decades resulted in the lowering of the central cross aisle between the Field Box Seats and the Loge Box Seats in the left field portions of the 1934 bowl by approximately 8 inches. This is consistent with work performed last year to the 1912 seating bowl and will provide fans sitting in the lower rows of the Loge Boxes with improved views of the playing field.  The wheelchair and companion positions in the Loge Box were also improved this year and relocated from Section 31 to Section 32.  The sight lines from the new positions were enhanced by creating elevated platforms and positioning the companion seats next to the wheelchair locations rather than in front of them.  Several seats formerly placed in the lower aisle were removed for comfort and circulation.

All seats were refurbished and/or replaced by American Seating, the same company that has worked on the seats at Fenway Park since its inception in 1912.  The concrete repair work was completed by NER Construction of Wilmington, MA, who also completed a similar scope of work during the 2007/2008 and 2008/2009 off-seasons in other areas of the ballpark.

2. New Restrooms and Concession Enhancements Behind Home Plate

In an effort to create additional space, improve circulation and enhance the fan experience, the concession stand behind Home Plate at the top of the Grandstand has been replaced by new expanded stands that offer a wider variety of food and beverage items.  Also, seven original archways, first built in 1912 and bricked over for many years, were re-opened and restored, which will improve air circulation in that area of the ballpark.

The restrooms that previously resided in this location on the Grandstand concourse have been removed; and new, larger restrooms with additional fixtures for both men and women have been constructed on a Mezzanine area positioned above Gate D, and are accessible via a new staircase that connects to the top of Grandstand Section 19 (behind home plate).  The new restrooms are more than double, in both size and number of fixtures, compared to the previously existing ones.   Additionally, two new ADA accessible family restrooms have been added in an area adjacent to the new concession stands on the Grandstand concourse towards first base.

3. Lower Third Base Concourse Improvements

Several improvements and infrastructure upgrades have been completed in the Lower Third Base concourse.  Most importantly, a new staircase has been constructed to provide improved access to/from the Gate A concourse and the Lower Third Base concourse. Enhancements have been made to the interiors of both the Visitor’s Clubhouse and grounds crew areas, including new finishes and fixtures in the manager’s office, locker room, and shower and grooming areas within the Visitor’s Clubhouse. Additionally, the locker room, meeting room and grooming areas that serve the Red Sox Grounds Crew have been refurbished.

4. New Concession Areas and Several New Menu Items

In 2010, ARAMARK and the Red Sox will introduce several new menu enhancements that offer fans even more dining options.  In addition to their classic Fenway favorites, fans will now find double cheeseburgers, grilled chicken bistro sandwiches, stromboli, and chicken parmesan and Italian meatball subs throughout the ballpark.

At the center of this year’s food and beverage upgrades is an expanded and completely renovated concession area behind home plate, featuring a newly installed brick oven for cooking freshly made pizza (served whole and by the slice).  The stand will offer many of the new items, including the chicken parmesan and Italian meatball subs, as well as Italian sausage sandwiches, Fenway Franks, hamburgers, chicken tenders & fries, and assorted snacks and desserts.

ARAMARK has also substantially expanded Fenway Park’s vegetarian menu and added more options for fans with special dietary considerations.  A new veggie burger, veggie dog, and spinach and mozzarella stromboli will join the lineup of existing vegetarian options like assorted salads, pizza, vegetarian burritos, hummus and fresh fruit cups.  A growing list of gluten free items will include kettle corn, cookies, chips, and crackers.  Fans looking for lighter fare will find assorted wraps along with deli and Panini sandwiches.

The selection of family-oriented combination value meals has also been expanded to include pizza & soda, chicken tenders & fries, burger & fries, and soup & a sandwich.  Kid-friendly novelty items such as funnel cakes, slush puppy frozen drinks, and milkshakes have been added to the menu.

Additionally, along Yawkey Way, the Boston BBQ stand will now feature a new pulled BBQ beef sandwich served with fries, and chicken tenders.

All off-season projects were designed by D’Agostino Izzo & Quirk of Somerville, MA, and overseen by Ipswich Associates of Boston, MA.

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