New Fenway Park - Boston Red Sox tickets

New Fenway Park

Inside the new Fenway Park

Boston, Massachusetts

Tenant: Boston Red Sox (AL)
Opening: Undetermined
Status: Never built
Surface: Bluegrass
Capacity: 44,130 (baseball only)

Architect: HOK Sport (Kansas City)
Construction: Undetermined
Owner: Boston Red Sox
Cost: $545 million (in 1999)
Public financing: $50 million for traffic and other infrastructure improvements; $80 million for two parking garages.
Private financing: $350 million for design and construction; $65 million for acquiring land.

Boston Red Sox tickets:

Location: Adjacent to the current Fenway Park and incorporating some of the existing structure. Home plate would be moved two hundred six yards directly behind its current location. Left field (N), Brookline Avenue and Yawkey Way; third base (W), Brookline Avenue and an extended Kilmamock Street; first base (S), Boylston Street; right field (E), a new alley.

Dimensions: The same as the current Fenway Park.

Fences: The same as the current Fenway Park.

Yawkey Way

A proposal for a replacement for Fenway Park, made by then team CEO John Harrington on May 15, 1999, had the Red Sox moving across Yawkey Way into a bigger, modern version of Fenway Park, similar in design to the retro-style ballparks of Camden Yards in Baltimore and Jacobs Field in Cleveland. It would have been built on 15.5 acres bounded by Yawkey Way, Brookline Avenue, and Boylston Street, retained the old field dimensions and made to look like Fenway.

The field would have faced the same direction and many of the landmarks beyond the old outfield walls would have been visible from the new park, such as the Citgo sign. Portions of the old ballpark would have been torn down eventually to make room for new development in what is now center field, the bleachers, and first-base side of the ballpark. But the plans also envision part of the old Fenway Park being turned into a baseball museum and park. The new plan would have allowed construction to take place while the Red Sox continued to play in Fenway Park.

Citing the economic obsolesence of Fenway Park as the reason, the Boston Red Sox wanted to be in a new stadium by 2003. Without the addition of 10,000 seats, including more luxury suites and other premium seats, the team said it would fall behind other teams in paying the player salaries needed to stay competitive on the field. The Red Sox were willing to pay the entire cost of a 44,130 seat replacement for Fenway Park, which was built in 1912 and seated 33,871 in 1999, but wanted public funds for such upgrades as improved transportation. The Red Sox were not considering selling private seat licenses in a new stadium and expected construction to cost about $350 million. In 1999, Massachusetts was the only state where there were four professional teams playing in privately financed facilities, so the Red Sox didn't expect public funds to be available for the stadium.

Leading up to the announcement to build adjacent to Fenway Park, there were several sites discussed as a possible location for a new Red Sox ballpark. The team's original preference was a site on the south side of Fort Point Channel near Summer Street which featured parking and proximity to mass transit. Another proposed location was the South Bay section of the Crossroads at Massachusetts Avenue site which straddled the Southeast Expressway. Both of these sites made headlines as possible locations of a proposed Megaplex which would have included a new Red Sox ballpark, a convention center and a domed stadium for the NFL's New England Patriots. In the spring of 1996 a Hood dairy plant in Charlestown which was the property of one of the Red Sox owners was proposed as a site for a new ballpark. Later, there was discussion about refurbishing Fenway Park or rebuilding it on its current site. An organization called Save Fenway Park! was organized in 1998 to promote ways to preserve the old ballpark.

Site plan for the new Fenway Park

New Fenway Features:

  • The entrance to the new park would have been through what is now Yawkey Way, which would have been turned into a pedestrian walkway between the preserved sections of old Fenway and the main entrance to the new ballpark.
  • The new ballpark would have had about 35 percent more space and over 10,000 more seats. It would also have had 100 luxury boxes, at least 5,000 premium club seats, upgraded concession areas, wider seats and bigger aisles.
  • Restroom facilities would have been increased from eight for women and eleven for men to twenty-two for each.
  • The Red Sox had said there would be no corporate name attached to the new park.
  • Most of the characteristics and quirky dimensions of the playing field would have stayed the same, including the "Green Monster," Pesky's Pole, the center field triangle and the bullpens in front of the right field bleachers.
  • The 1912 Tapestry Wall along the Gate A entrance on Yawkey Way, the infield, a large portion of the "Green Monster" and the manual scoreboard would have been preserved where they stand. In that area, a Red Sox Baseball Museum, Hall of Fame, and children's educational center would have been built.
  • The team considered putting a ladder on the new left field wall.
  • There would have been a red seat to commemorate where Ted Williams' 502-foot homer would have landed in the new park.
  • Helen Robinson, switchboard operator since 1941, would have taken calls in the new park.

Aerial view of the new Fenway Park

Recommended Reading (bibliography):

  • One Day at Fenway by Steve Kettmann.
  • Fenway: A Biography in Words and Pictures by Dan Shaughnessy, Stan Grossfeld and Ted Williams.
  • Our House: A Tribute to Fenway Park by Curt Smith.
  • Fenway In Your Pocket: The Red Sox Fan's Guide to Fenway Park by Kevin T. Dame and Rioji Yoshida.
  • Fenway Saved by Bill Nowlin and Mike Ross.
  • Fenway Park: Legendary Home of the Boston Red Sox by John Boswell and David Fisher.
  • Fenway: The Players and the Fans Remember by Peter Golenbock.
  • Take Me Out to the Ballpark: An Illustrated Tour of Baseball Parks Past and Present by Josh Leventhal and Jessica Macmurray.
  • The Ballpark Book: A Journey Through the Fields of Baseball Magic (Revised Edition) by Ron Smith and Kevin Belford.
  • Stadia: A Design and Development Guide by Geraint John and Rod Sheard.
  • City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks by Philip Bess.
  • Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit (2nd Edition) by Joanna Cagan and Neil deMause.
  • Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle over Building Sports Stadiums by Kevin J. Delaney and Rick Eckstein.
  • Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums by Roger G. Noll and Andrew Zimbalist.

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Images courtesy of HOK Sport and the Boston Red Sox.

Updated October 2004

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