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November 16, 2007
Sox adding 800-plus seats to Fenway
BOSTON (AP) -- The Boston Red Sox are adding more than 800 new seats at Fenway Park as part of a slate of improvements planned for next season.
The new seats and standing room areas for about 60 people will be added to the pavilion level, which is the third level of seating above home plate. The pavilion area will be extended down the first base line and the third base line, where about three-quarters of the new seating will be located, the team announced.
In total, Fenway's capacity will increase by about 900 fans.
The pavilion seats will cost between $75 to $90 and the standing room area tickets will cost $25.
"We understand the demand for such seats; thus we are adding to the supply," Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said.
The team also plans to install new scoreboards, new stairways and elevators and open a year-round restaurant in center field that will have a view of the ballpark.
The announcement comes the same week the team said 2008 ticket prices would increase an average of 9 percent. Prices at Fenway range from $12 for upper bleachers seats to $125 for field box seats. Lucchino said the added revenue was needed to keep the team competitive, particularly as the rival New York Yankees see a major revenue increase when they move into a new stadium in 2009.
The new seats and other improvements are part of the annual offseason renovations the team has undertaken at the league's oldest and smallest ballpark since the ownership group led by John Henry bought the Red Sox in 2002.
Among the major renovations were adding seats above the "Green Monster" in left field in 2003. Before last season, the team added a new bleacher section on the roof deck in right field.
"For decades, there was a presumption that Fenway Park had outlived its useful life and, sentiment aside, would have to be replaced by a modern facility in another location," Lucchino said. "We are eager to see, in 2012, this ballpark become the first ever to celebrate its 100th anniversary."
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