Fenway Seat Data and Travel Tips
- Fenway Park Seating Chart
- Tips for Fenway Visitors
- Fenway Park Cost of Attendance Study
- Fenway Concessions
- Boston Area Hotels
It cost $650,000 to build. This is equivalent to approximately 12.8 million dollars today.
Features of the Park
The stadium is most famous for the left field wall called the "Green Monster". Constructed in 1934, the 37-foot, two-inch high wall is 240 feet long, has a 22-foot deep foundation, and was constructed from 30,000 pounds of Toncan iron. Previously, a 23-1/2-foot tall screen protected cars and pedestrians on Lansdowne Street, however, the screen was replaced after the 2002 season with more seating atop the Green Monster.
The wall measures 310 feet (94.5 m) from home plate down the left field line.
In 1934 the park was remodeled. The left-field scoreboard was added, and until several years ago, was one of only two remaining manual scoreboards in major league baseball (the other is at Wrigley Field in Chicago). New retro-stadiums such as Safeco Field, AT&T Park, Miller Park and others now also feature manual scoreboards.
In 1947, the left field wall was painted green to cover the advertisements.This led to the name the “Green Monster.”
In 1962, an electronic line-up board was added to the far right side of the scoreboard. It was removed when the Wall was refurbished in 1976.
In 1976, the center field electronic scoreboard was installed, and the manual scoreboard was changed to only show out-of-town scores from other American League games. Also in 1976, the tin panels and their supporting concrete base were replaced by vertical formica-type panels. Padding was also added at the base of the Wall, most likely a result of Freddy Lynn's scary collision during the 6th game of the 1975 World Series.
In 2003, National League scores returned to the wall. American League East division standings were added in 2005. Additionally, advertisements returned to the Green Monster, most notably for Volvo and W.B. Mason, although these and subsequent ads are largely modest white text and monochrome shapes on green backgrounds.
In 2005, ads for Granite City Electric, Red Sox Foundation and F.W Webb, which replaced the Bob's Store ad, were added to the Green Monster.
"The Triangle" is a region of center field where the walls form a triangle 420 feet (128 m) from home plate. That deep right-center point is conventionally given as the center field distance, even though it is only 390 feet to straight away center.
"Williamsburg" is the name, invented by sportswriters, for the bullpen area built in front of the right-center field bleachers in 1940. It was built there to allow Ted Williams, and other left-handed batters to hit more home runs, since it was 23 feet closer than the bleacher wall.
The Lone Red Seat
The lone red seat in the right field bleachers (Section 42, Row 37, Seat 21), signifies the spot where the longest measurable home run ever hit inside Fenway Park landed. Ted Williams hit the home run on June 9, 1946 off Fred Hutchinson of the Detroit Tigers. The shot was measured at 502 feet (153 m) and, as legend has it, crashed through the straw hat of Sox fan Joe Boucher. Contemporary analysis by HitTracker has estimated the true distance of the home run to be between 520 and 535 feet, due to the elevation of the Fenway bleachers. No other player at Fenway Park has ever hit that seat since, although David Ortiz has come close.
"The Belly" is the sweeping curve of the box-seat railing from the right end of "Williamsburg" around to the right field corner. The box seats were added when the bullpens were built in 1940, to make it easier for Ted Williams to hit more home runs. They cut the 1934 remodeling's right field line distance by some 30 feet.
Pesky's Pole is the name for the pole on the right field foul line. The pole was named after Johnny Pesky, the shortstop for the Red Sox, who hit some of his six home runs at Fenway Park around the pole but never off the pole (a mere 302 feet from home plate). Pesky and the Red Sox attribute pitcher Mel Parnell with coining the name. The most notable for Pesky was a two-run homer in the eighth inning of the 1946 Opening Day game to win the game. (In his career, Pesky hit 17 home runs.) In similar fashion, Mark Bellhorn hit what proved to be the game-winning home run off of Julian Tavarez, now a member of the Red Sox, in Game 1 of the 2004 World Series off that pole's screen.
"Fisk Foul Pole"
In a ceremony before the Red Sox's 2005 interleague game against the Cincinnati Reds, the pole on the left field foul line on The Green Monster was named the Fisk Foul Pole, in honor of Carlton Fisk. Fisk provided one of baseball's most enduring moments in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series against the Reds. Facing Reds right-hander Pat Darcy in the 12th inning with the score tied at 6–6, Fisk hit a long fly ball down the left field line. It appeared to be heading foul, but Fisk, after initially appearing unsure of whether or not to continue running to first base, famously jumped and waved his arms to the right as if to somehow direct the ball fair. It ricocheted off the foul pole, winning the game for the Red Sox and sending the series to a seventh and deciding game the next night, which was won by Cincinnati.
From 1912 to 1933, there was a 10-foot-high incline in front of the then 25-foot high left field wall at Fenway Park, extending from the left-field foul pole to the center field flag pole. As a result, a left fielder in Fenway Park had to play part of the territory running uphill (and back down). Boston's first star left fielder, Duffy Lewis, mastered the skill so well that the area became known as "Duffy's Cliff".
As part of the 1934 remodeling of the ballpark, the bleachers and the wall itself, Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey arranged to flatten the ground along the base of the wall, so that Duffy's Cliff no longer existed, and thus became part of the lore of Fenway Park. Thus the base of the left field wall is several feet below the grade level of Lansdowne Street.
For decades there was considerable debate about the true left field distance, which was posted as 315 feet (96 m). For years, Red Sox officials refused to remeasure the distance. Reportedly, the Boston Globe was able to sneak into Fenway Park and remeasure the line. When the paper's evidence was presented to the club in 1995, the line was finally remeasured by the Red Sox and truly restated at 310 feet (94.5 m). The companion 96 meters sign remained unchanged, until 1998, when it was finally corrected to 94.5 meters. A theory about the incorrect foul line distance is the former 315 ft (96 m) measurement came from the Duffy's Cliff days. That measurement likely included the severity of the incline, and when the mound was leveled, the distance was never corrected. A quick study of the geometry of "Duffy's Cliff" suggests that this theory has merit. Regardless of the posted distance, frustrated pitchers will always argue that "The Green Monster" is closer than the sign says.
EMC Club (formerly "The .406 Club" and "The 600 Club")
In 1983 private suites were added to the roof behind home plate. In 1988, 610 stadium club seats, enclosed in glass and named the "600 Club," were added above the home plate bandstand, replacing the existing press box. The press box was then added to the top of the 600 Club.
In 2002, the organization renamed the club seats the ".406 Club" (in honor of Ted Williams' batting average in 1941), six days after his death. (Williams was the last player to hit .400 or better in the major leagues.)
During the fall and winter of 2005-2006, as part of the continuing expansion efforts at Fenway Park, the existing .406 club was rebuilt. The second deck now features two open-air levels: the bottom level is the new "EMC Club" featuring 406 seats and concierge services, and above that, the State Street Pavilion, with 374 seats and a dedicated standing room area.
Changes to Fenway Park
- The first fire, May 18, 1926: Bleachers along the LF foul line burned down and weren't replaced, widening the foul territory behind the grandstands.
- The second fire was more serious, on January 5, 1934. The park was being renovated when a 4-alarm fire virtually destroyed the new construction work. However, the renovations were completed in time for the "new" Fenway to host Senators and Sox on April 17, 1934.
- In 1936, a 23 foot tall screen was added above the Green Monster to prevent batted balls from shattering the windows in buildings across Lansdowne Street.
- In 1940, the bullpens were moved from the outfield foul territory into new bullpens added in front of the bleachers. This didn't hurt the Sox new hero, Ted Williams, who usually pulled the ball into RF.
- In 1946, upper deck seats were installed; Fenway Park is essentially the first double-tiered ballpark in Boston since the South End Grounds of the 1880s. That same year, Ted Williams hit "the red seat", and Fenway hosted the All Star Game.
- In 1947, arc lights were installed at Fenway Park. The Boston Red Sox were the third-to-last team out of 16 major league teams to have lights in their home park.
- In 1976, metric distances were added to the conventionally-stated distances because it was thought that the United States would adopt the metric system. Today, few American ballparks have metric distances posted. Fenway Park retained the metric measurement until mid-season 2002, when they were painted over. Also, Fenway's first message board was added over the centerfield bleachers.
- In 1982 and 83, the luxury boxes were added above the Grandstands.
- In 1987 and 88, a new video screen with color was installed. The playing field was resodded (see post-2004 to see how that went).
- In 1989, 610 "Stadium Club" seats were added behind home plate, called the "600 Club", pushing the press facility higher up. This luxury area was behind large glass windows, so sound from the stadium was piped in. Many players, including Wade Boggs, believed that this changed the wind patterns and suppressed home run totals.
- In 1997, Coke bottles were attached to the light tower closest to the LF foul pole. Wil Cordero was the first Sox to hit a home run off the Coke bottles on April 13.
- In 2002, the new ownership added 2 new rows of seats on the field from dugout to dugout. Later that year, Yawkey Way would be closed off and become part of the Park during games. These were the beginning of a series of Fenway Park Improvements during John Henry's tenure as owner.
- In April 2003, 3 rows of seats were added on top of the Green Monster, and the 2 rows of "dugout" seats were extended beyond the dugouts, and 2 new rows behind home plate. The Green Monster manual scoreboard was extended to add National League scores. The "Big Concourse" was added, dramatically expanding the space available to attendees beneath and behind the Bleachers.
- After the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series, a new drainage system was installed on Fenway's notoriously tricky field. The system, along with new sod, was installed to prevent the field from becoming too wet to play on during light to medium rains, and to reduce the time needed to dry the field adequately. Work on the field was completed only weeks prior to spring training.
- Also beginning in 2004, a new seating and bar area were added to the RF Roof Deck.
- After the 2005 season, the Red Sox completed their plans for the .406 Club area, which became the EMC Center. The removal of the glass and the new construction resulted in 852 pavilion club seats, 745 pavilion box seats, and approximately 200 pavilion standing-room seats along the left- and right-field lines, resulting in approximately 1300 additional seats.
- After the Rolling Stones played at Fenway in August 2005, a large section of outfield grass had to be replaced right before a homestand.
- The Red Sox plan to also add approximately 700 tickets for the 2007 season and 1,400 tickets for the 2008 season. In adding additional seating, the Red Sox plan to have 1,000 of the seats added over the three years be high-priced premium seats, to help deflate ticket costs and bring Fenway Park up to the MLB average of percentage of premium seating.
- In the 2006-07 offseason, construction began on the infrastructure of the centerfield bleachers, to allow for the building of a restaurant with field-level views through the centerfield wall.
- The Red Sox have also stated that at some point before the 2012 season (Fenway Park's 100th anniversary) that they would like to replace the old wood seats in the Grandstand section.
- Batted ball over line on top of the left field wall: Home Run.
- Fair ball going through scoreboard, either on the bound or in
flight: Two Bases.
- Batted ball in flight striking to the right of yellow line on left center field wall behind flagpole: Home Run.
- Batted ball in flight striking left center field wall to left of line behind flagpole and bounding into seats on top of center field wall: Home Run.
- Batted ball in flight striking left of line in right center field and bounding into bullpen: Home Run.
- Fair ball striking the ladder below top of left field wall and bounding out of park: Two Bases.
- Fenway Park opened on April 20, 1912, making Fenway Park the oldest ballpark still in active use in Major League Baseball. It was originally scheduled to open on April 18th. After two rainouts, the Red Sox defeated the New York Highlanders (now Yankees) 7-6 in 11 innings, for the first official Major League game at Fenway. Unfortunately, the first victory at Fenway Park was not even the top story in the Boston papers the next day, as April 21, 1912 was the day that news of the sinking of the Titanic reached Boston.
- The first game ever played at Fenway Park occurred on April 9, 1912, in an exhibition game between the Red Sox and Harvard University. The Sox won the game, 2-0, in front of about 3,000 fans.
- The first home run in the history of Fenway Park was in 1912, by Hugh Bradley. It would be his only home run that season.
- Fenway Park hosted the 1946, 1961, and 1999 Major League Baseball All-Star Games.
- Fenway Park has hosted at least one round of the Beanpot baseball tournament since 1990, except for 2004.
- Fenway hosted its first major concert event since the 1960's on September 6, 2003, when Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed to a sold-out crowd. The stage was placed in CF, with thousands of seats on top of decking on the outfield grass. This would become an annual affair, with Jimmy Buffett in 2004, The Rolling Stones in 2005, The Dave Matthews Band in 2006, and The Police in 2007.
- Largest crowd ever to watch a baseball game at Fenway: 47,627 showed up to watch a doubleheader on September 22, 1935 against (who else?) the New York Yankees.
- Fenway was the first stadium to include a screen behind home plate to protect spectators.
- The manual scoreboard in left field was installed in 1934, slightly moved (twenty feet to the right) in 1976, has 16" x 16" alpha / numeric signs that weigh three pounds each & 16x12 signs that weigh two pounds each, and on the back of the scoreboard are autographs from the ballplayers who appeared in left field.
- A series of dashes and dots run vertically down the two center divider columns of the manual scoreboard. They symbolize the initials of former team owners Thomas Austin Yawkey (TAY) and Jean Remington Yawkey (JRY) written in morse code. Mr. Yawkey's initials are on the left. In 2004 Nike, in a TV ad honoring the Red Sox championship, used Morse Code to spell out its corporate slogan, "Just Do It", in the margins surrounding the screen.
- While many ballplayers have cleared the Green Monster, not one has ever hit a ball over the right-field roof. Most notably, Manny Ramirez hit a home run on April 19, 2005, that sailed over the Monster Seats (in fact, over one of the light towers among the Monster Seats), bounced off the parking garage across Lansdowne Street, and came to rest on the train tracks next to the Massachusetts Turnpike.
- The ladder on the side of the Green Monster was there to allow groundskeepers to remove balls from the netting on top of the Green Monster. When the monster seats were added in 2003 the ladder was left on and, if hit, is the only ground rule triple in Major League Baseball.
- "As Commissioner, you’re supposed to be objective. It wasn’t much of a secret, though, that I loved Fenway — especially how it made you a participant, not a spectator." - Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn
- "As I grew up, I knew that as a building (Fenway Park) was on the level of Mount Olympus, the Pyramid at Giza, the nation's capitol, the czar's Winter Palace, and the Louvre — except, of course, that it is better than all those inconsequential places." - Baseball Commissioner Bart Giamatti
- "Everything with me is normal except when I pitch (in Fenway Park). When I pitch here it's a little different. There is a little more anxiety to go along with the nostalgia because this is the park I grew up with as a kid. This is the park I dreamed of playing Major League Baseball in and no other ballpark has that feeling for me. There are a lot more family and friends here than in my normal starts and I want to pitch well here." - Tom Glavine in the Boston Herald (July 9, 2001)
- "Fenway is the essence of baseball." - Tom Seaver in the Christian Science Monitor (July 1999)
- "Fenway Park is one of the most historic, beloved, and revered ballparks in the nation. In fact, [tourism statistics] indicate that Fenway Park attracts more visitors to Boston than any other single attraction." - C.H. Johnson Consulting, Inc. in The Johnson Report (1999)
- "I'm helplessly and permanently a Red Sox fan. It was like first love...You never forget. It's special. It's the first time I saw a ballpark. I'd thought nothing would ever replace cricket. Wow! Fenway Park at 7 o'clock in the evening. Oh, just, magic beyond magic: never got over that." - Art Historian Simon Schama in History in Brilliant Brushstrokes (1999)
- "I've always noticed how the Fenway fans get behind the pitcher, especially late in the game if you're having a good game, or if you have two strikes on a hitter, they really start to chant and anticipate a strikeout. And that's the best part about playing in Boston and at Fenway. There are knowledgeable fans who anticipate the flow of the game and they can really help out the pitcher." - David Cone in the Boston Herald (May 28, 2001)
- "I've moved from the newest ballpark in the country (Miller Park) to the oldest. It's the dream of my life. It's the best place in the world to be. Fenway Park." - Groundskeeper Director David Mellor in the Boston Globe (April 7, 2001)
- "Let me get this straight. We’re bulldozing real vintage ballparks like Tiger Stadium and Fenway Park to put up fake vintage ballparks?" - Sportswriter Rich Reilly in Sports Illustrated (1999)
- "Love of Fenway itself may be as much a part of the Sox' 2.6 million annual attendance as Pedro (Martinez), Manny (Ramirez) and Nomar (Garciaparra)." - Sportswriter Michael Gee in the Boston Herald (July 10, 2001)
- "New England's parlor, a region's nightclub, and the Olde Towne Team's hearth. To generations of Americans, going to Fenway Park has been like coming home." - Curt Smith in Our House : A Tribute to Fenway Park (1999)
- "That moment, when you first lay eyes on that field — The Monster, the triangle, the scoreboard, the light tower Big Mac bashed, the left-field grass where Ted (Williams) once roamed — it all defines to me why baseball is such a magical game." - ESPN Analyst Jayson Stark (March 30, 2001)
- "That's the magic of Fenway Park. That’s why people love it so. Come to think of it, at Fenway almost every year is a wonder year." - Red Sox Announcer Ned Martin (1977)
- "The ballpark is the star. In the age of Tris Speaker and Babe Ruth, the era of Jimmie Foxx and Ted Williams, through the empty-seats epoch of Don Buddin and Willie Tasby and unto the decades of Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Rice, the ballpark is the star. A crazy-quilt violation of city planning principles, an irregular pile of architecture, a menace to marketing consultants, Fenway Park works. It works as a symbol of New England's pride, as a repository of evergreen hopes, as a tabernacle of lost innocence. It works as a place to watch baseball." - Martin F. Nolan in A Ballpark, Not A Stadium (1999)
- "This is the place to be. Baseball town. The intimacy of Fenway, the toughness of it. I like that. I'm used to it. I need it. If I went somewhere else, it might have been a bit of a letdown. I like the edge." - David Cone in the Boston Globe (February 13, 2001)
- "To me, the feeling is what you get from standing on this field. It's the memories, the history — you get a great sense of the players who played here over the years. What made Camden Yards a gem was re-creating the atmosphere that a place like Fenway already has." - Cal Ripken, Jr. in the Boston Globe (September 25, 2000)
- "We love Fenway Park because we love antiques, be they rocking chairs or ballparks. But we love it even more because the eccentricities of the place mirror our own. It is, like us, difficult and cranky. And this makes it a mighty hard place for a player to play in. Too bad. Players come and go, but Fenway Park may become an American Pyramid." - Boston Red Sox Sportscaster Clark Booth in Fenway by Dan Shaughnessy
- "When we lose Fenway, we lose that sense that somebody sat here and watched Ted Williams hit." - Broadcaster Bob Costas on Fox Game of the Week (1999)
- "You can say, 'Well, if they tore down Fenway Park, we can build a new one.' But you wouldn’t build it right. It’s better to make the accommodations, to save the old ballparks. If Fenway Park needs sky boxes to bring in the poverty-stricken owners enough money to save the stadium before they tear it down and move it someplace else, then build the damn sky boxes. If Wrigley Field needs lights to survive, put up the damn lights.... Make the damn structural improvements, but save the ballpark because when you try to rebuild a cathedral five hundred years too late, it doesn’t come out the same." - Sportswriter Tom Boswell in The Story of America's Ballparks (1991)
- "Welcome to instant prepackaged, brand-new oldness. Camden Yards was baseball's first attempt to bring its past back from the dead. Evocative, nostalgic, and unleashing of a frenzy of building the newest old stadiums man could build, which now, in a total perversion of the idea of actual architectural history, threatens Fenway." - Broadcaster Keith Olbermann on Fox Sports (August 27, 2000)
- "When the Red Sox win (at Fenway Park), the P.A. system immediately blares forth 'Dirty Water,' a No. 11 hit for The Standells back in 1966. It's usually little more than pleasant background music as we make our slow way toward the exits. But after a dramatic win — and tonight marked the Red Sox' third walk-off win in their last eight games — a good percentage of the fans hang around and sing, 'I love that dirty water... Oh, Boston you're my home.'" - Sportswriter Rob Neyer on ESPN (August 7, 2000)