BOSTON -- More fans will get to see the World Series
champion Boston Red Sox play at Fenway Park next year.
The Red Sox are adding more than 800 new seats as part of
improvements planned for the 2008 season. Along with increased
standing room areas, Fenway's capacity will approach 37,000.
"We understand the demand for such seats. Thus, we are adding
to the supply,'' Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said.
The team is also raising ticket prices an average of 9 percent.
The new seats will be added to the third level above home plate.
The pavilion area will be extended down the lines.
The pavilion seats will cost between $75 to $90. Standing room
tickets will go for $25.
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
Lucchino said the extra 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.''