There may have been snow around these parts just yesterday, but Fenway Park will be ready all the same for the Red Sox home opener on Thursday. Today the club showed off to the media the latest round of updates to baseball’s oldest ballpark.
Most visible to fans will be further extensions to Fenway’s protective netting. The new system extends from Field Box Section 79 to Field Box Section 9 (expanded from an area previously covering Field Box Section 61 to Field Box Section 29). The netting stands 12-feet-8-inches off the playing surface and is painted green to help minimize its impact to sight lines.
A new premium seating option, the Jim Beam Dugout, will debut this season for groups of up to 25 people. The experience, which is meant to give fans a view similar to actually being in the dugout, comes with a pregame meal, a Fenway tour, and in-seat service for drinks and snacks.
In addition, 30 new seats have been added just past the Visitors’ dugout for 2018. The new row, which aligns with the camera well, is positioned behind the newly expanded protective netting.
With the new Sam Deck the Sox further expand their relationship with beer makers Samuel Adams this season. The deck will feature a variety of Sam Adams brews and “Sam Adams-inspired food items.” The old “3rd Base Saloon” has also been re-branded as “Sammy’s on 3rd” this season.
As usual, Fenway’s concessionaires have lined up a new array of over-the-top snacks for hungry fans. During the chill of April ice cream stands will instead serve chowder, chili, and hot beverages.
The club reports that over $300 million has been invested in Fenway Park improvements since 2002.