on October 23, 2006
Having grown up about a half hour from its hallowed ground, and having attended many a Red Sox game there, I decided it was about time to review Fenway Park.Home of Boston's professional baseball teams since 1912, this classic ballpark offers much vintage charm along with modern day flare.The seats are packed in, leaving not much by way of leg room. However, the 36,000+ seats create a homey experience. Some of the seats do have obstructed views by green painted 'I' beams that hold the balcony seats up. Given the age of this field, this park was not built with a suspension system. The Green Monster is perhaps one of the most recognizable symbols of the park. The 37-foot high wall is the home of perhaps the last manually operated scoreboards in the country. Cards with the numbers are slid ino each hole and hung as the scores change. Yes, there are people behind the wall that have to change the score. In recent years, they have utilized some of the space for advertising. They have to make money somehow. However, rather than just slapping tacky logos on, they have tastefully painted them on in the same colors that are already present on the wall. Above the scoreboard, they highlight some of their charitable work done through the Red Sox Foundation.Intertwined amongst the charm of this old-time park are the touches of the 21st century. They do have a few ATMs on-site. The food is not stuck in the 1900s either. Now, you can get steak tips, personal pan pizzas, sausages, and of course, the famous Fenway Franks. Add to that, they serve peanuts, and popcorn, and Cracker Jacks, you won't care if you ever get back. However, be forewarned, as with most sporting and concert venues, the food is pricey. A Fenway frank was $4, beer was $5.50 or so, and steak tips were $9. Note to the wise: buy your food outside, rather than from the friendly folks who roam the stadium. Prices from them, while being the same exact food, is about 25 cents more expensive.The nice thing about Fenway is that they do offer tours. Visit www.redsox.com for more information. These tours allow to visit and get a feel for Fenway, while not having to pay top dollar for a ticket to a game.People have asked for years for a new Fenway. I am on the fence. At this point, I believe that Fenway has a great deal of history, and it really is one of the last great old parks out there. I think that the park is in a good place right now, location-wise and amenity wise. Sure, newer, bigger, brighter parks may mean cheaper seats, but what do you sacrifice in return?Overall, if you are in Boston, and even if you don't have a great affinity towards baseball, you have to make a visit to Fenway Park part of your trip.
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