Sox Owners, Partners Plan Major Development Around Fenway Park

8slim

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Since there is always a distinct split in opinion between those who attend Fenway one or two times a year (I'm in this segment) and those who are frequent attendees, is there any data on the composition of attendance? Perhaps that's proprietary info only the team has access to, but I'm curious to know if the usual 80/20 rule applies to Red Sox attendance.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Considering the high percentage of Season Tickets, plus the 10 and 20 game plans and the 4 game Sox Pax, I'd guess than out of the 2 million who attend each year, that less than 20% only buy 1 or 2 games. Raise that to 33% for "attend more than 1 or 2 games", as the tix often get parceled out. The rest go much more frequently.

The team themselves probably doesn't know how many games the average individual actually attends.
 

Max Power

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I've been to San Diego, Seattle, Baltimore, New Toilet, and both LA parks. The seats are usually not any wider than the ones at Fenway, but you do get legroom and a cup holder. In return, you're significantly farther away from the field. I've had season tickets in the grandstand at Fenway for 20 years and sat in basically the same seats in both San Diego and Dodger Stadium. It was very noticeable how much more distant I was from the action. As someone who's nowhere close to 6 feet tall, I'm happy to keep the proximity to the game even if it comes with extra proximity to the people in front of me.
 

voidfunkt

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The team themselves probably doesn't know how many games the average individual actually attends.
I bet they have the data even if you don't realize it. Just need to match credit card numbers or card holder names used to purchase tickets with concession, parking and other purchases.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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I've been to San Diego, Seattle, Baltimore, New Toilet, and both LA parks. The seats are usually not any wider than the ones at Fenway, but you do get legroom and a cup holder. In return, you're significantly farther away from the field. I've had season tickets in the grandstand at Fenway for 20 years and sat in basically the same seats in both San Diego and Dodger Stadium. It was very noticeable how much more distant I was from the action. As someone who's nowhere close to 6 feet tall, I'm happy to keep the proximity to the game even if it comes with extra proximity to the people in front of me.
Dodger Stadium is the 3rd oldest stadium and shouldn't be included in discussion of new parks. I agree you are further away in newer parks and that is a direct result of legroom. Width is definitely wider outside of Fenway. I've barely fit in a grandstand seat at Fenway since I got tall (never mind wide), but have had no problem in the 19 other parks I have visited. Including Wrigley and Dodger
I bet they have the data even if you don't realize it. Just need to match credit card numbers or card holder names used to purchase tickets with concession, parking and other purchases.
I "owned" 20 game tickets a year and went to 2-3 games each of the last few seasons. The rest went 1 to this person, 2 to that person, etc. And most concession (food) purchases at Fenway until a few years ago were cash, and they don't have any parking info.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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I bet they have the data even if you don't realize it. Just need to match credit card numbers or card holder names used to purchase tickets with concession, parking and other purchases.
I think you underestimate the complexity that merging sensitive system data like this takes. Let alone the manpower and technology in IT/marketing that a lot of sports teams are lacking.

Pulling credit card numbers from your POS stations and dumping them into a CRM or datalake is not something most companies would take lightly. Nor do I see the ROI for the amount of legwork and risk this would take. I doubt this is happening.
 

Max Power

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I think you underestimate the complexity that merging sensitive system data like this takes. Let alone the manpower and technology in IT/marketing that a lot of sports teams are lacking.

Pulling credit card numbers from your POS stations and dumping them into a CRM or datalake is not something most companies would take lightly. Nor do I see the ROI for the amount of legwork and risk this would take. I doubt this is happening.
Yeah, that seems like a weird way to try to figure it out. Now that they've gone entirely to electronic ticketing, they know exactly which phones are being scanned for each game. And all the ballpark apps and social media tags they push during the games fills in the rest of the puzzle for the team if people use them. Every organization probably has a very good idea of how often an individual attends games.
 

voidfunkt

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I think you underestimate the complexity that merging sensitive system data like this takes. Let alone the manpower and technology in IT/marketing that a lot of sports teams are lacking.

Pulling credit card numbers from your POS stations and dumping them into a CRM or datalake is not something most companies would take lightly. Nor do I see the ROI for the amount of legwork and risk this would take. I doubt this is happening.
You can just buy the data directly from the card vendor - they may not give you the raw numbers, but they can certainly sell you any analytics info you want based on transactions. My meta-point is that this is not difficult data to gather even if the mechanism isn't exactly as described.
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

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Yeah, that seems like a weird way to try to figure it out. Now that they've gone entirely to electronic ticketing, they know exactly which phones are being scanned for each game. And all the ballpark apps and social media tags they push during the games fills in the rest of the puzzle for the team if people use them. Every organization probably has a very good idea of how often an individual attends games.
The Sox were offering a choice to STH to either get electronic or hard copy tickets (not for ‘21 though due to safety and they probably won’t return). The hard ticket folks are probably small in numbers and tracking those is a bit harder but still possible if anyone uses either ticket toss or Stubhub. The Sox definitely knew whether I tossed my tickets or listed them on Stubhub.
 

Harry Hooper

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RFID scanning of cards? One of my relatives visited the Macy's at South Shore Plaza but didn't buy anything. An email from Macy's showed up hours later saying something like "Sorry we didn't have what you were looking for today. Please come again."
 

Earthbound64

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RFID scanning of cards? One of my relatives visited the Macy's at South Shore Plaza but didn't buy anything. An email from Macy's showed up hours later saying something like "Sorry we didn't have what you were looking for today. Please come again."
Phone GPS showed them walking around the store, but not waiting in line at checkout.

People really underestimate how much is known and how easy it is to find out.
 

Harry Hooper

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Phone GPS showed them walking around the store, but not waiting in line at checkout.

People really underestimate how much is known and how easy it is to find out.
OK, but no phone involved in this case. Not a cellphone user.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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RFID scanning of cards? One of my relatives visited the Macy's at South Shore Plaza but didn't buy anything. An email from Macy's showed up hours later saying something like "Sorry we didn't have what you were looking for today. Please come again."
Theres definitely more to this than being written. Geo-fencing is pretty common for tradeshows and events, and even to a lesser degree places like retailers. But theres a zero % chance retailers are scanning unsuspecting customers cards in their wallet or purses.

Without all the info, I would assume your family member has clicked on macys email links in the past and been cookied. I also assume they're a previous Macys customer. From there, it would be easy for a marketing team to setup a geofence workflow in a system like Eloqua or, more likely as its B2C, Responsys. Something like: "1 hour after lead leaves geofence, check for new purchase."

If they have new purchases associated with their account - via Macys card/account, if they gave their email during a previous purchase, or less likely, with a CC associated with the account record - they'd get a "thanks for shopping at Macys". If they didnt, they get "sorry you couldnt find what you were looking for."

Either way, they arent scanning people's cards/wallets/purses as they enter or exit a store.

But none of that is really relevant to this discussion. POS information from a beer vendor or pizza vendor would be stored in a completely different system than the one used for marketing/sales KPIs (like season ticket holder vs 1 off visitor). Companies jump through a lot of hoops to ensure personal information like credit card info, social security numbers, health info, etc stay isolated in a different data pool. Theres also way too much room for error to take any stock into that information even if they decided to. As stated above, people have cash, mobile payment methods, different banks/ATM cards, different credit cards, etc. Trying to isolate and associate all that data at a scale of 45k per event would be a fool's errand and riddled with caveats. Nobody would take those metrics seriously.
 

Harry Hooper

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Really anything East or North of the city is a non-starter... Cambridge and Somerville are not going to permit a new stadium district.
Is that really true? The Krafts have been rumored to be working on the land near Brickbottom beyond the Lechmere T Station for the Revolution's stadium. Will Bob share space with the Sox?

Anything on you that tracks your location and connects to the internet?
I don't think so. It was a senior citizen (without any med device implants) about 2 years ago.
 

staz

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The cradle of the game.
The Globe dedicated today's page C3 to their Replace Fenway narrative. First up, KPD beats the drum with an extensive dive in the mailbag of replies received from last week's article (disguised as a 2020 recap). Below that, a 53-year old reprint on the topic. (See! No need to be afraid, we're been talking about this for decades!)

Henry may need to pat KPD on the head and tell him to settle down.
 

YTF

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Dodger Stadium is the 3rd oldest stadium and shouldn't be included in discussion of new parks. I agree you are further away in newer parks and that is a direct result of legroom. Width is definitely wider outside of Fenway. I've barely fit in a grandstand seat at Fenway since I got tall (never mind wide), but have had no problem in the 19 other parks I have visited. Including Wrigley and Dodger

I "owned" 20 game tickets a year and went to 2-3 games each of the last few seasons. The rest went 1 to this person, 2 to that person, etc. And most concession (food) purchases at Fenway until a few years ago were cash, and they don't have any parking info.
This. I'm 6"2" 250ish. Most of my pants have a size 38 waist so I'm not a guy who spills out into the seat next to me, but it's a tight fit in most of the Fenway seating for me. Not so much in any of the other parks that I've visited.
 

Murby

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You can certainly build a new ballpark, but I don't care how fancy and hip the new park is. If it's in a horrible location and/or the team stinks....no one will show up.

I have never understood this. Generally speaking: If you win, you get attendance numbers. If you stink....you don't.

The people in Toronto should refuse to replace Rogers Centre which was built in 1988. Once you rid yourself of Fenway you open the door of going down the rebuild and recycle road.

Every other stadium I've been in has just as uncomfortable seating that "doesn't face home plate". No one could've seen what they did to Fenway being so amazing. I can see them using it and changing it again. They can make the seats wider if they chose too, no? Why would they build a stadium with wider seats when the economics suggest they may not have too? See airline industry trending to smaller and smaller seats and charging the same price.

Either way, given all the needs we have....spending a dime on a new park to play a game is pretty silly.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Every other stadium I've been in has just as uncomfortable seating that "doesn't face home plate". No one could've seen what they did to Fenway being so amazing. I can see them using it and changing it again. They can make the seats wider if they chose too, no? Why would they build a stadium with wider seats when the economics suggest they may not have too? See airline industry trending to smaller and smaller seats and charging the same price.
which stadiums have you been to with uncomfortable seating and not facing the infield? Wrigley has some odd facing seats, but that is also an old stadium. And widening seats in Fenway would reduce capacity significantly
 
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Red(s)HawksFan

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The people in Toronto should refuse to replace Rogers Centre which was built in 1988. Once you rid yourself of Fenway you open the door of going down the rebuild and recycle road.
The people in Toronto don't really get a say in replacing Rogers Centre as it's a privately owned facility. Same with Fenway. If the owners decide it's in their best interest to build a new park, who are we to tell them they can't?
 

PseuFighter

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I think the point a few of us are making is it's ok to reduce capacity to future-proof the lower bowl. Popularity post-2004 has fallen off a cliff outside of a handful of games and there's enough money in the Boston area for the team to make up the difference by turning the field box behind the plate into clubs, where many of those seats are already corporate owned. You'll still have plenty of affordable options for many, many games, including most weeknights all season long. I'm mostly curious how many seats would need to go in order to retrofit. If you can keep capacity at 30,000, and the structure is viable for a significant time to come, then do it.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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which stadiums have you been to with uncomfortable seating and not facing the infield? Wrigley has some odd facing seats, but that is also an old stadium. And widening seats in Fenway would reduce capacity significantly
Yup. I’ve sat In literally every seating area at Target Field, which has a similar seating capacity and footprint to Fenway, but of course was built almost 100 years later. The slimmest seat is 20” wide, and every seat faces at least toward 2d, if not the mound or home plate. There are zero seats as bad as Fenway’s right field box, or the cavernous, obstructed view grandstand seats. The average seat at Fenway is far worse (and costs far more) than the average seat at Target Field or most other ballparks, IMO; I’ve been to 15 of the current parks and about 10 former ones.

That said, I love the overall Fenway experience. Current ownership hasn’t put in the modifications and worked on current new developments if they intended to rebuild elsewhere.
 

PseuFighter

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I've been to most parks in the league and, to be totally honest, think that lower level past the bases are just awful seats throughout all of baseball. Fenway is particularly bad in that the RF Box and Grandstand seats literally face the outfield, especially where the park turns, but it's true that lower level seats down the lines generally aren't desirable anywhere. I have noticed that lots of the newer parks correct for this as best they can once you make it either past the first deck, where it's naturally easier to see the whole field.

Like RF Box 94, probably some of the worst seats in baseball (and I do believe these are the sort of seats they could retrofit / angle into infield without losing that many in the process) --

37407
 
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Pablo's TB Lover

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I can't think of many parks that have GOOD lower level seat views past the bases. For example to name a park I've attended the most other than Fenway, Camden Yards, they do a great job down the left field line to angle the last few sections back towards the middle of the field, but they give zero fucks down the LF line.

37409
 

Jordu

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I’ve had weekend season tickets in the LF grandstands for many years. Most of the seats around us are not season tickets.

I’d say that over the past two decades, at least three-quarters of the non-local folks I’ve talked to in the seats around us said they came to see a game at Fenway. Fenway is a tourist draw on the level of the USS Constitution or the Old North Church.

Honest question: Is that changing?
 

Earthbound64

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Yup. I’ve sat In literally every seating area at Target Field, which has a similar seating capacity and footprint to Fenway, but of course was built almost 100 years later. The slimmest seat is 20” wide, and every seat faces at least toward 2d, if not the mound or home plate. There are zero seats as bad as Fenway’s right field box, or the cavernous, obstructed view grandstand seats. The average seat at Fenway is far worse (and costs far more) than the average seat at Target Field
It's still paining me to be within walking distance of Target Field, and still never having been able to even be inside there...
The wait continues...
 

The Talented Allen Ripley

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Sox unveil development plans.

A letter to the Boston Planning & Development Agency outlined a project that calls for 2.1 million square feet of offices, housing, and retail in four in buildings along Jersey and Landsdowne streets. Jersey Street would be permanently closed to vehicular traffic and become a “year-round public gathering space.”
The project — years in the planning — makes the Red Sox and their neighbors, the D’Angelos, the latest major Fenway landowners to join the widespread transformation of the area. (Fenway Sports Group principal owner John Henry also owns The Boston Globe.) Samuels & Associates has built a corridor of apartment and office buildings along Boylston, while work is getting underway on the long-planned Fenway Center project above the Massachusetts Turnpike along Beacon Street.

The scale of what Fenway Sports Group and its partners have in mind appears closer to those projects than the low-slung buildings that surround the ballpark today, though both the letter and early design renderings suggest that the historic facades of existing buildings will remain in place.

“The Project’s guiding principle is to allow the city fabric to envelop and embrace the historic ballpark and create welcoming, people-first places and buildings that contribute to the quality and vitality of the public realm in the heart of the Fenway neighborhood year-round,” WS wrote in its letter to the BPDA.

They also plan to shut down Jersey Street — which today is closed on Red Sox game days but otherwise open to traffic — to create a permanent pedestrian plaza alongside Fenway Park. That would happen only after the extension of Ross Way — which today connects Boylston and Van Ness Streets — all the way through to Brookline Avenue A mix of storefronts and taller buildings would line Jersey Street, according to images filed with the letter.
Some renders:

Looking up Jersey toward Brookline Ave from the corner of Jersey and Van Ness:



Looking down Jersey from the corner of Jersey and Brookline:

 

The Talented Allen Ripley

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The Globe's summary of the 1,000+ page proposal:

A development group led by the Red Sox shared its most detailed vision yet for 2.1-million-square-foot project set on sites around Fenway. It envisions eight buildings in four spots along Jersey Street, Brookline Avenue, Van Ness Street, and behind the park’s left field “Green Monster” on Lansdowne Street. They would be filled with nearly 1.7 million square feet of office space, about 216 residential units, as well as restaurants and stores on refurbished streets.

It’s the latest large-scale development pitched for the booming Fenway neighborhood, this one centered around the park that remains its biggest draw. The developers note that the aim is not to make the home of the Red Sox a “sports theme park,” but rather to create new buildings designed for various uses around the stadium.

“Many ballparks around the country are surrounded by sports-focused developments, which is the opposite of what the Proponent envisions here,” the developers wrote at the start of a 1,000-plus-page filing with the Boston Planning & Development Agency. “The Project should feel like the neighborhood is enveloping the ballpark, and not that the ballpark is spreading its influence into the neighborhood.”
The development group is a partnership between the Red Sox, ‘47 brand owners the D’Angelo family, and veteran Boston builders WS Development. (Red Sox principal owner John Henry also owns the Boston Globe.) Like their neighbors ― including Samuels and Associates, which has remade much of Boylston Street, and John Rosenthal and life science firm IQHQ, who are launching the main phase of the enormous Fenway Center project over the Massachusetts Turnpike — the developers are seeking to capitalize on the demand for office and life science space that’s spilling out from Longwood Medical Area.

Thursday’s filing will launch the start of formal community and BPDA review of the project. If approved, WS said it hopes to start work in 2022. The developer expects it could take five to seven years to complete all of the work.
 

geoflin

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This would take away many parking spaces and make the parking situation even worse than it already is.
 

Rwillh11

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This would take away many parking spaces and make the parking situation even worse than it already is.
Tons of transit links to the stadium, basically no matter where you are coming from. Not sure why we should be concerned about parking.
 

Ale Xander

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This plan is disgusting (while probably great for property values and current property owners though)

Needs more residential units and fewer CRE post-Covid. And the non-sports feature is a bug not a feature in my eyes.

Agree that this is horrible for parking, too.
 

Ale Xander

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Urban planners would say that's a feature, not a bug. Anything that encourages the usage of public transportation and reduces traffic is good.
Public transportation has a capacity issue, especially there. Plus post-Covid, I see a reduction of pt demand.

I was a big Green Line user pre-Covid. I'm changing to using it much less in the future. (Only if absolutely no chance at affordable parking within 1.5 miles or drinking which is rare now.)
 

Ale Xander

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An urban ballpark shouldn't be catering to/appeasing car drivers. Period.
Then it should be in the suburbs where 98% of the paying attendees are from on non-tourist days. (I'm counting Brookline and WRox as suburbs)

In any case, all that commercial office space does nothing other than increasing the need to cater to car drivers.
 
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canderson

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Who will fill even close to 1.7 million square feet of office space? That's a significant number in the face of office space vacancies everywhere.
 

Spelunker

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Fuck parking around Fenway. There are better uses for that space.

I don't love the % of office space, but I assume that's still a flexible number right now. I do think people have been way overestimating the structural effects of COVID though.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Office space? Now?

The problem with taking the Green line to the game is that you need to ride it during rush hour to get to a typical weekday night game. The cars are completely jammed full, if you are lucky enough to cram your way onto one. Last time I tried taking the Green line to a game, I had to wait for several trains to stop just to barely get onto one, and remember being really thankful I didn't have my 9- year-old with me.

Adding tons of offices to that area will only make that problem far worse. The Green line will be a total clusterfuck anytime there is a home game, even worse than it is now.

I wonder if adding nearby buildings that are taller than the ballpark will influence the wind patterns and have an unforeseen impact on how the ball carries at Fenway.
 

shaggydog2000

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Office space? Now?

The problem with taking the Green line to the game is that you need to ride it during rush hour to get to a typical weekday night game. The cars are completely jammed full, if you are lucky enough to cram your way onto one. Last time I tried taking the Green line to a game, I had to wait for several trains to stop just to barely get onto one, and remember being really thankful I didn't have my 9- year-old with me.

Adding tons of offices to that area will only make that problem far worse. The Green line will be a total clusterfuck anytime there is a home game, even worse than it is now.

I wonder if adding nearby buildings that are taller than the ballpark will influence the wind patterns and have an unforeseen impact on how the ball carries at Fenway.
That will all be fixed with new trains. Then they will derail before getting to whatever station you're at and you won't have to worry about jamming onto them. Or maybe catch fire.
 

Doug Beerabelli

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I've conditioned myself to driving to the Prudential Center and parking there and then walking to Fenway. It's reasonably priced, and actually makes it easy to get back on Mass Pike West for the drive back to CT.

I've parked at Riverside or Woodland and taken T in from there sometimes, but it's a PIA to find parking sometimes as stated above.
 

JimD

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The problem with taking the Green line to the game is that you need to ride it during rush hour to get to a typical weekday night game. The cars are completely jammed full, if you are lucky enough to cram your way onto one. Last time I tried taking the Green line to a game, I had to wait for several trains to stop just to barely get onto one, and remember being really thankful I didn't have my 9- year-old with me.

Adding tons of offices to that area will only make that problem far worse. The Green line will be a total clusterfuck anytime there is a home game, even worse than it is now.
These criticisms apply equally to automobile traffic, especially now (afternoon rush hours have become a nightmare across the country).
 

The Gray Eagle

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These criticisms apply equally to automobile traffic, especially now (afternoon rush hours have become a nightmare across the country).
Driving isn't a good way to get to the ballpark. But the Green Line isn't too much better, and this development sure seems like it will make it even worse-- there will be less parking, putting more fans on the trains, and more offices near the park, putting more commuters on the trains right as fans are trying to get there.