Current Fenway signage and display
1 to 3. Fenway Park will see continued improvements with upgrades for video
display including increased size for the main display, and the addition of two
smaller displays to its left and right
The dreamers of Yawkey Way are at it again, imagining more features for the oldest ballpark in the game. The Red Sox yesterday announced the final round of major offseason improvements closing a ten year loop of annual upgrades designed to keep the Red Sox in Fenway into the middle of the 21st century.
âThis is the last year of a ten-year series of improvements to Fenway Park that has given this venerable old ballpark new life,â said Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino.
Most prominent of the Year X augmentations is the installation of a trio of gigantic video boards that will tower over the center and right field bleachers. Following the lead of the minor league affiliate in Pawtucket, the big club in Beantown turns to high definition video as a means of enhancing the fans experience at the ballpark.
Video boards have provided in-game replays for many years, but never with the clarity of picture that modern screens can provide, effectively creating a high def television with more square footage than an average one bedroom apartment.
Additionally, Fenway's new video boards create opportunities for revenue streams through digital signage advertising opportunities. In the artist's renderings of the new video boards, the generic "SPONSOR" above the board over the right field bleachers stands out as a promotional place awaiting someone's marketing budget. In addition the new main video screen above the centerfield bleachers will be able to mimic the look of the old rotational sponsor signs.
The main board will measure approximately 38 feet high by 100 feet wide and will replace the existing elements of the structure above the bleachers in centerfield which saw 35 seasons of action. The board will display full-screen live video, game action accompanied by real-time statistics, sponsor graphics partnered with the box scores or any combination of visuals and game information.
Flanking the main board will be two smaller video boards. The existing Bank of America hitters and pitchers board in left center field will turn into a 17 feet high by 100 feet wide video screen with a new illuminated Bank of America sign atop the board. A third video screen, 16 feet high by 30 feet wide, will connect the Ford and Dunkin Donuts sponsor signs above the bleachers in right field. These Diamond Vision video systems will prominently feature real-time information such as batter and pitcher stats, pitch speed and type, box scores, promotions, announcements, upcoming schedules and other messaging.
In addition to the video boards, the Red Sox will be concrete repair, waterproofing and seat replacements of the right field seats in the lower bowl of the stadium, completing the repair and waterproofing of the entire lower seating bowl which began in 2007. Dugout, Field and Loge box seats are also being replaced and will include cup holders. The Dugout and Field seats will be padded. Concession and merchandise stands are also being expanded and new ones installed near Gate D. And the concourse from Gate D to Gate C is being repaired and upgraded as well.
The Red Sox also proposed an onfield adjustment. The Boston Herald reported yesterday that the Red Sox were seeking approval from the Boston landmarks commission to widen the bullpens by approximately nine feet. In doing so the distance to right field will shrink from 380 feet to 371 feet, likely adding a few home runs to both Red Sox and opposing hitters tally.
The coming 2011 campaign will mark Fenway's 99th season in operation. The improvements began prior to 2002 to culminate in the 100th anniversary of the park, what is expected to be a year-long celebration of Boston baseball and in particular the iconic ballpark, romanticized as a baseball cathedral by many a writer.
Click here to read the full Red Sox press release.
A daytime view of the planned new video boards.
RED SOX ANNOUNCE YEAR X FENWAY PARK IMPROVEMENTS
Off-Season Improvements mark completion of ten-year cycle of major, annual improvement projects;
2011 Improvements to include three new High Definition video boards and scoring systems by ANC Sports and Mitsubishi Electric
The Boston Red Sox today announced Year X Fenway Park Improvements to "Americaâs Most Beloved Ballpark." 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 highlight the 2011 list.
This off-season will mark the final year of major annual improvements to the ballpark, thus completing a ten-year plan. This yearâs effort fulfills a pledge made by ownership upon acquisition of the club, and reaffirmed in 2005, to improve every facet of the ballpark, while preserving and protecting the ballpark for future generations. The improvements completed at Fenway Park over the past ten 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 off-season 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 almost 99-year old iconic ballpark.
"This is the last year of a ten-year series of improvements to Fenway Park that has given this venerable old ballpark new life,â said Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino. âWith more seats and more standing room, wide open concourses, a reinforced structure, new and improved restroom facilities, and many more food and beverage options for our fans, Fenway Park remains vibrant and appealing leading up to its 100th Anniversary in 2012."
New High Definition Video Display and Scoring Systems
Three new High Definition video display and scoring systems will be installed this off-season at Fenway Park and will represent a significant upgrade over the existing scoreboards. The Red Sox selected ANC Sports to install three new state-of-the-art Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Visionâ˘ light emitting diode (LED) video screens.
The largest of the three screens, measuring approximately 38 feet high by 100 feet wide, will be the main video board in centerfield and replace the existing elements of the structure above the bleachers in centerfield, which was originally constructed prior to the 1976 season. This main scoreboard structure includes a 23 feet high by 30 feet wide video screen installed after the 1999 season, the black and white statistical display, 60 feet of LED ribbon and the static rotational sponsor signs. This screen will have the ability to provide approximately 3800 square feet of dynamic video capabilities in a variety of formats.
Driven by ANCâs patent-pending VisionSOFTâ˘ operating system, the new main video screen above the centerfield bleachers will be able to mimic the look of the old rotational sponsor signs or dissolve into various formats such as full-screen live video, game action accompanied by real-time statistics, sponsor graphics partnered with the box scores or any combination of visuals and game information.
Two additional Diamond Vision displays will also be installed on either side of the main screen. The existing Bank of America hitters and pitchers board in left center field will turn into a 17 feet high by 100 feet wide video screen with a new illuminated Bank of America sign atop the board. A third video screen, 16 feet high by 30 feet wide, will connect the Ford and Dunkin Donuts sponsor signs above the bleachers in right field. These Diamond Vision video systems will prominently feature real-time information such as batter and pitcher stats, pitch speed and type, box scores, promotions, announcements, upcoming schedules and other messaging.
âWe are excited to partner with the Red Sox to enhance the fan experience at Fenway Park through our state-of-the-art signage technology,â said Jerry Cifarelli, President and Chief Executive Officer of ANC Sports Enterprises. âANCâs revolutionary software system combined with Mitsubishi Electricâs Diamond Vision LED displays will entertain Red Sox fans with visuals as clear as their High Definition televisions at home while providing comprehensive and informative game information.â
All three signage positions will feature the Diamond Vision X8 Outdoor Video Screen. This state-of-the-art display features vibrant images through Mitsubishi Electricâs dynamic pixel processing which creates 8mm lines of resolution.
Other sports facilities where ANC Sports has installed Mitsubishi Electric High Definition video display systems include AT&T Park in San Francisco, CA; Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX; Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.; Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, MD; Turner Field in Atlanta, GA; U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, IL and Yankee Stadium in New York, NY.
Other Improvements Planned for 2011
Additional work being planned for this off-season includes the concrete repair, waterproofing, and seat replacements of the Right Field lower seating bowl originally constructed in 1933-34. This will mark the completion of the repair and waterproofing of the entire lower seating bowl, a project started with the Bleachers in 2007 and continued with the original 1912 bowl in 2008 and the 1933-34 Left Field seating bowl in 2009.
Existing Dugout, Field Box and Loge Box seats will be replaced by new seats with cup holders on a new concrete base. Dugout and Field Box seats will also be padded. As in previous years, Grandstand seats in Right Field will be refurbished and fitted with self-rising mechanisms that enable the seat to retract automatically once a patron stands up. This will allow for more room in the seating rows and improved mobility for fans entering or exiting the rows.
Other projects underway include new and expanded concession and merchandise stands in the Gate D area and a repaired and upgraded ground level concourse stretching from Gate D to Gate C that will include utility upgrades, new concrete concourse flooring and life safety improvements.
All off-season improvements were designed by DâAgostino Izzo & Quirk of Somerville, MA, and overseen by Ipswich Associates of Boston, MA, who will serve as the Program Manager. The concrete repair work will be completed by NER Construction of Wilmington, MA. The General Contractor for the off-season projects will be Walsh Brothers of Boston, MA.
Fenway Park Improvements 2002-2011
Fenway Park has undergone a series of annual improvements since the New England Sports Ventures (NESV) purchased the team in 2002. The group assembled by John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino was the only candidate vying for ownership of the ballclub that proposed to save and improve Fenway Park, Americaâs oldest and smallest ballpark. The team has since focused on a series of improvements, with goals of increasing capacity by at least 10%; improving fan amenities such as concessions, restrooms and entry points; ADA accessibility and circulation including elevators and stairs; and, also improving the ballpark exterior with new year-round restaurants, wider sidewalks, street trees and lighting.
Most notable among these improvements are:
2002: New Dugout Seats; Yawkey Way Concourse.
2003: Green Monster Seats; Big Concourse; Expanded Dugout Seats; New Green Monster Manual Scoreboard.
2004: Right Field Roof Deck; Third Base Concourse.
2005: First Base Deck; âGame Onâ Restaurant; New Playing Field
2006: EMC Club; State Street Pavilion Level; Renovated Private Suites; Distributed Sound System
2007: Steiner Third Base Deck; Renovated Private Suites
2008: Expansion of Seating on State Street Pavilion Level, Coca-Cola Corner; Concrete Repair and Waterproofing of Bleachers and new seats; âThe Bleacher Barâ.
2009: Right Field Roof Box Expansion; Concrete Repair and Waterproofing of the original 1912 Seating Bowl and new seats; Repairs to the Jeano Building, including the replacement of its roof and restoration of the windows and doors; New Front Row Seats.
2010: Concrete Repair and Waterproofing of the 1933-34 left Field Lower Seating Bowl; New Home Plate Deck, Concession Stands and Restrooms.
Source: Boston Red Sox
Joe Tetreault is Managing Editor of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He can be contacted here through The Biz of Baseball
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