Red Sox

As the baseball season continues, we thought it would be great to take a look at one of the most historic ballparks in the game: Fenway Park.


More Than a Century Ago


Home to the Red Sox, Fenway Park has written a legendarium all its own. The Red Sox first play there on April 20, 1912, just a few subsequent to the sinking of the Titanic. That first Fenway Park game was sidelined in newspaper reports by the maritime disaster. Thus, away from the limelight, the Red Sox quietly overcame the New York Highlanders- soon to become the Yankees- and began to settle down to what is now more than a century of occupation.


Despite the importance and stature of Fenway Park, attendance was for long time surprisingly low. The attendance bottomed out in the mid-sixties, with some gate figures putting spectators at least than 500. Following the Impossible Dream of ’67, attendance grew steadily. In fact, 2013 saw Fenway Park set a record run of 794 consecutive ticket sell-outs for regular season games.


Changing with the Game


Changes and updates have had a steady impact on the look of the ground, but not at the cost of its asymmetric, old-time character. 1934 saw the addition of the manual scoreboard along with the latest high-tech indicator lights for strikes, etc. The scoreboard remains in use, safely operated from behind the wall.


After the Second World War, the installation of upper deck seating and powerful arc-lights brought Fenway Park in line with the standards of most Majors; this impacted the scheduling of games accordingly. In the 70s there was a discussion of metric adoption; before this bit the dust, Fenway Park saw the addition of metric figures alongside the regular distances. These remained as curiosities for nearly thirty years before disappearing in a revamp.


Sticking to Home Turf


In more recent times, there have been plans for a move from Fenway. Such schemes have been driven, it is suggested, by a desire to increase the marketability of the franchise. One project involved building a ‘Megaplex’ in combination with the NFL New England Patriots. This plan was opposed by fans, who mobilized a vocal ‘Save Fenway Park’ campaign. In response, there were attempts at compromise, with notable architectural features being preserved for posterity. In the end, the Patriots decided to go their own way. The Foxborough development of the Gillette Stadium led to the Megaplex project being scrapped, and the Red Sox said they would stick with Fenway.


The decision delighted the fans, and the franchise announced that Fenway Park would be home to the Red Sox for the ‘indefinite’ future. This future was underlined by the depth of the subsequent renovation, which has extended the life of the stadium until perhaps 2061. We wouldn’t write off Fenway Park anytime soon.


fenway park red sox