The 2010 Boston Red Sox (Credit: Boston Red Sox)
In 2010, Fenway Park was the busiest it had been in quite some time. Major events at the park started on New Years Day, when the NHL Winter Classic was played between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Boston Bruins. After a week of other skating events a college hockey doubleheader, dubbed Frozen Fenway, was played at the park. Once the rink was removed, the club's ninth year of major improvements continued. The concrete in the left-field seating bowl, which was built in 1934, was repaired and waterproofed and a new Home Plate Deck was unveiled at the top of the grandstand behind home plate. Over the summer, Fenway Park hosted a concert by the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, the first soccer game at the park in over four decades and a concert featuring two local bands, Aerosmith and J Geils Band. Though the Red Sox missed the playoffs for the first time since 2006, the team fought valiantly with a heavily injured roster. While the team was on the road on September 14, Fenway Park hosted the largest naturalization ceremony ever held. That same day, when thousands of people became America's newest citizens, the club laid out the red carpet on Fenway Park's warning track for the movie premiere of "The Town," which was partly filmed at the park in 2009. After the Red Sox season, scenes for another film, "Moneyball," were filmed in parts of the park.
In 2011, the final offseason of a 10-year cycle of major, annual improvements to Fenway Park introduced several upgrades to the venerable home of the Boston Red Sox. Renovations that were completed for the 2011 season included three new state-of-the-art high definition video display and scoring systems, upgrades to the Gate D concourse including new and extended concession areas, and the repair, waterproofing and seat replacements of the lower seating bowl in right field.
The completion of these improvements fulfilled a pledge made by the ownership group led by John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino to improve every facet of the ballpark, while preserving and protecting the park for future generations. The improvements completed at Fenway Park over the past 10 years have been designed to ensure that the park will remain structurally sound, and the home of the Boston Red Sox, for the next 30-40 years.
With a 2010-2011 offseason investment estimated at $40 million, the investment for the 10-year program is estimated to total approximately $285 million, the largest investment in the history of the iconic ballpark.
To install the trio of state-of-the-art Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Vision LED video screens, the Red Sox selected ANC Sports. The largest of the three displays, a 38-foot-high by 100 foot-wide screen, now serves as the main video board in center field, while two additional Diamond Vision screens - a 1,700-square-foot screen in left-center field and a 480-square-foot screen above the right-field bleachers - flank the main display. As part of this project, the club also renovated Fenway Park's control room, an area on the 5th level of the ballpark from which the Red Sox video productions department operates the video boards and other ballpark displays.
In addition to the new video boards, the club performed concrete repair, waterproofing and seat replacements in the right-field lower seating bowl, completing the repair and waterproofing of the entire lower seating bowl that began in 2007. Dugout, Field Box and Loge Box seats in this area were replaced with new seats, while Grandstand seats in right field were refurbished and fitted with self-rising mechanisms allowing easier mobility for fans entering or exiting the rows.
The Red Sox also improved the Gate D concourse area, including a new merchandise stand and expanded concessions. The Gate D concourse was also re-graded with new concrete and the entire ground level concourse running from Gate D to Gate C was repaired and upgraded. Outside of Gate D, a new ticket window booth was constructed and the old will call window inside the gate was removed to create better movement into and out of the Gate D area.
While the improvements to Fenway Park have it made it possible for it to remain active as "America's Most Beloved Ballpark" for the next three to four decades, the Red Sox also made significant improvements to the team's roster that bears well for the future of the organization as well. Shortly before the New Year, the club traded for slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, sending three prospects to the San Diego Padres. Just a few days later, the team signed dynamic left fielder Carl Crawford. These additions, along with others, to an already talented and heavily homegrown roster, and coupled with the organization's deep farm system, have put the Red Sox in position to field winning teams at Fenway Park for years to come.