BOSTON, MA – The Red Sox today unveiled the new Gate K (for Kids) entrance to Fenway Park with Mayor Martin J. Walsh during his first preseason walkthrough of the ballpark since becoming Mayor of the City of Boston.
The Red Sox, in partnership with the Mayor, also announced a free Open House on April 25 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. that would allow fans to wander Fenway Park at their leisure and get autographs from Red Sox alumni. The free event will also feature a showcase game between two Historically Black Colleges, Florida A&M University and North Carolina Central University at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on NESN.
After cutting the ribbon on the new entryway for kids, the Mayor experienced the new Kids Concourse area and Wally’s Clubhouse, which feature new attractions for young fans, including a six-foot nine-inch-tall Wally bobblehead, an interactive video wall for fans to take photos, and activity space for children.
Additionally, the club showed off 174 new seats that were added to Fenway Park this offseason in the Bleachers, State Street Pavilion, and EMC levels of the ballpark.
Space for 28 new seats in the Bleachers came from relocating the centerfield camera platform from the bottom of the Bleachers to a new, elevated camera basket beneath the Bank of America video board. The change restores the original configuration of the Bleachers before the camera platform was added in the early 1970s.
By extending the State Street Pavilion and EMC Levels towards the Fisk Pole in left field, the club has added 112 State Street Pavilion Reserved seats on the Coca Cola Deck and a 34-person party suite, called the Infiniti Suite, on the EMC Level. This new suite will be leased on a game by game basis.
Behind the State Street Pavilion Reserved seating section, a new private outdoor group space, the Lansdowne Pavilion, has been added for groups of 10-16 people.
The Budweiser Right Field Roof Deck received a complete refresh for the 2015 season. The space now features a new fully-functional bar and dining area – the Budweiser Brew House – that will provide a wider variety of drink offerings and specialty food items only available at this location. New lounge seating areas with additional televisions have been created throughout the space and will include waiter/waitress service. All fans will have access to the Budweiser Brew House, regardless of ticketed seat location.
For visiting teams, the existing visitor’s clubhouse area has been expanded to include a new workout room. Prior to this change, the workout room located within the Red Sox clubhouse was used by both teams at designated times.
Providing additional game information to fans, two new 30” high x 39.3’ wide LED ribbon boards have been installed by ANC Sports on the State Street Pavilion level fascia.
The club is also in the process of expanding Fenway Park’s WiFi and cellular network to give all fans access to coverage inside the ballpark. The existing Distributed Antenna System (DAS) has been significantly enhanced to deliver improved wireless cellular service within the ballpark, and the WiFi network is being upgraded to triple the ballpark’s WiFi coverage around the All Star Break.
Fenway Park concessionaire, Aramark, offered a sampling of new kid-themed concessions as well as a few classic favorites during today’s walkthrough with the Mayor. Families and children in attendance sampled new $5 kids meals that will be available in the new Kids Concourse, including peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Goldfish, and a small juice, as well as bite-sized menu items like mini pigs in a blanket, corn dogs, fried Oreo mini churro bites, and fried apples.
The Mayor indulged in a classic Fenway Frank as he previewed the new kid-themed souvenir items, which include a Wally ice-cream tray, cotton candy on a novelty bat, and a glove-shaped tray with nachos or chicken fingers. Healthy options such as fruit cups, Tribe hummus, and string cheese were also on hand and will be available throughout the season.
Gilbane Inc., with offices in Boston, was the general contractor for the 2015 improvements. DAIQ Architects, based in Somerville, provided the architectural work. Fiberglass Farm, a Belfast, Maine, company, fabricated the life-size Wally bobblehead for the Kids Concourse.
The 10-year cycle of major improvements to Fenway Park was completed in 2011. Since then, smaller scale enhancements have been made annually as part of the ongoing preservation and protection of the ballpark. To date, over $300 million has been invested in the improvement of Fenway Park since 2002.