Turner field became the home of the Atlanta Braves in 1997. They just recently announced they will be moving into a new stadium at the start of the 2017 season. At that point the Braves will have only been in Turner field for 20-years! That’s not long! It can also seat 49,000+ people. Fenway Park is old! It’s so old that it opened within days after the Titanic sank (April 20, 1912) Where the hell is our new stadium!? Unfortunately, I don’t see it happening for another 50 freakin years.
A new Fenway Park would be wonderful, but I know this idea is much easier said than done and it has been floated around before. I dug up a purposed plan for a new stadium that was submitted in 1999. The purposed plan sounds like a delusional nightmare. It would have been built on 15.5 acres of land bounded by Yawkey Way, Brookline Ave, and Boylston Street. What’s even more crazy was this purposed plan would have allowed construction to take place while the Red Sox continued to play in Fenway Park. In a city as small as Boston could you imagine what kind of traffic that would have created?
The Fenway plan
– The Red Sox submitted a proposed $545 million construction project for a new ballpark and parking garage, to be built essentially next door to the current Fenway Park.
– The new Fenway would seat 44,130 and incorporate many of the features (such as the Green Monster) of the old Fenway.
– 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
Other possible locations in the Boston area were thrown around, but obviously nothing ever came of it. In 2005 the ownership group announced they would be staying at Fenway. They spent $285 million over a ten year construction period to insure Fenway Park will remain home for the Red Sox for another 30-40 years. I will admit they did a great job on the ballpark, but no matter how pretty it looks it still doesn’t change the fact that they can only do so much to increase seat capacity. A new stadium would not only generate more revenue because they are a big market team but it would create some more affordable seating in some sections. It’s no mystery the sox have the highest ticket prices in Baseball. It would be nice to see more average middle class families going to games again. It’s to bad this can’t happen. Unless, they eventually decide to move the stadium outside of the Boston area.
I understand Red Sox fans are traditionalists. We don’t like change. I remember the beating Wally took his first couple years after being introduced as the team mascot. I seriously remember the “what the hell is that thing?” reaction from fans as he emerged from the Green Monster in left field for the first time. I remember the rumblings and grumblings from people when it was first announced they were putting seats on the monster. In the end though, those things became accepted. It wouldn’t take long for fans to accept a new stadium also.
Until then, I will sit in my seat crafted for the 1900’s man and enjoy my $8.50 beer and hope someday in my lifetime I see a new Fenway Park.