Fenway Park changes: 2015

Lose Remerswaal

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Had a great time at the game today.  Saw a few changes around the park and I'm sure I missed a few.
 
TV Cameras in CF were raised up to just below the "sill" from the Monster standing room extension, and more seats were added where the camera position used to be (not used today, of course).
 
Between inning countdown clock was just under the middle of the LF scoreboard (the one that tracks the pitch counts, etc), and pitches were being thrown to start innings with anywhere from 5 to 10 seconds left on the timer.
 
Pitch speeds are only being reported on that LF scoreboard, no longer on the small Bank of America boards over 1B and 3B.
 
Beer is being sold in all lower AND loge box seats (just Bud Light is all I could see from where I was sitting).
 
I didn't wander the park to see what else was new, but I heard folks talking about new beer options in the concourses.
 

Clemente

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I'll add some observations. Beware, if today is indicative of future games the entrance, at least thru Gate E, had lines that I have never experienced at Fenway. They need to get their act together, both the bag search lines, and the "no bag" line had long waits an hour before game time.
 
The place was packed today. Stuffed, tons of standing room only folks, long, long lines at the beer lines, and the food lines, just tough to get around. Maybe I didn't notice it as much last year, as we were in the glow of the rings and raising the flag, but it just felt jammed this year.
 
Shock Top draft being dispensed at the Tasty Burger Concourse behind 3rd base. The folks who have the grill at the Tasty Burger are pretty clueless, and couldn't keep the burgers going, at least this was true at the beginning of the game. 
 
It was a beautiful day at Fenway today and that grass looked fantastic.
 
Mookie!!!
 

sittingstill

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Lose Remerswaal said:
Beer is being sold in all lower AND loge box seats (just Bud Light is all I could see from where I was sitting).
They had Bud Light, Coors Light, Heineken, Narragansett and Goose Island IPA, in the field boxes at least. I'm disappointed that they no longer have Wachusett Green Monsta on draft in the park. Lots of stands with Blue Point Toasted Lager.
 
There is a stand in the concourse under the bleachers called "Meatball Obsession: The Original Meatball in a Cup." I have apparently missed the wave of copycat meatball in a cup vendors.
 
The bag inspectors were being way too industrious at Gate E.
 

Rough Carrigan

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It was a great day at the park.
 
Another interesting thing was that they let people in the gates 2 hours before game time.  Last year, they let people in 1 hour before game time but 90 minutes before game time if you had a Red Sox nation card and went in gate C.
 
They have a new  "Ketel One" bar/beer stand behind section 29 so what used to be a wide open area that was easy to walk through was made into single file passage with the lines at the Ketel One area easily backing up to the nearby standing room spots at the back of that section.
 

Rough Carrigan

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Lose Remerswaal said:
Had a great time at the game today.  Saw a few changes around the park and I'm sure I missed a few.
 
TV Cameras in CF were raised up to just below the "sill" from the Monster standing room extension, and more seats were added where the camera position used to be (not used today, of course).
 
Between inning countdown clock was just under the middle of the LF scoreboard (the one that tracks the pitch counts, etc), and pitches were being thrown to start innings with anywhere from 5 to 10 seconds left on the timer.
 
Pitch speeds are only being reported on that LF scoreboard, no longer on the small Bank of America boards over 1B and 3B.
 
Beer is being sold in all lower AND loge box seats (just Bud Light is all I could see from where I was sitting).
 
I didn't wander the park to see what else was new, but I heard folks talking about new beer options in the concourses.
The bolded isn't quite true.  I can't speak for the board over the 3b stands.  But, after not identifying any of the pitches or their speeds in the first inning they were showing them after that but very quickly.  If there were 20 seconds between pitches being delivered, they went about like this on that little Bank of America sign:
 
BankofAmericaBankofAmericaBankofAmericaFastball93BankofAmericaBankofAmericaBankofAmericaBankofAmericaBankofAmericaBankofAmericaBankofAmericaBankofAmericaBankofAmerica
BankofAmericaBankofAmericaBankofAmericaBankofAmericaBankofAmericaBankofAmericaBankofAmericaBankofAmerica
It was like subliminal non-advertising.
 
Apr 7, 2015
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I think the security (dictated by MLB not the Red Sox) with the metal detectors is something the Red Sox can't yet handle. And that was a weekday afternoon where presumably people wanted to get in early and so the crowd was spaced out in terms of entrance. We got there after the game started and line was still very deep at gate A, so we cut through the parking lot across from the Marriott to get into gate D.
 
I shudder what will happen on Friday nights when the crowd is much more likely to arrive in a smaller time period (6:40-6:55 etc.)
 
 
Anyone see how Gate K was? (the new kids Gate).
 
 
I loved the 2 minute commercial countdown clock and the beer service in Loge Box as stated above.
I've never seen so many rich people order and drink Bud Light in my life.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Lose Remerswaal said:
 
Pitch speeds are only being reported on that LF scoreboard, no longer on the small Bank of America boards over 1B and 3B.
 
We thought this as well, but we noticed about halfway though the game that the BoA logo actually morphed into the speed/type a few seconds after the pitch. There was a bit of a lag so it took us a while to figure it out. We were in LF pavilion so I assume 3B board did the same even though we couldn't see it.

Edit: oops, didn't see ya there Rough. What you said.
 

Doug Beerabelli

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Gate K (former Gate B) was crowded. Right next to it was Royal Rooters Club, where I had to wait 20 minutes in line to get in at around 12:45. Opening Day phenomenon methinks. I didn't see people coming into Gate K, did see metal detectors.

There's a Kids Nation section nearby the entrance. Had Kid nation kiosk, also some take a photo type figures of Wally. A ballon person. The old bullpen cart. New to Kids Nation IIRC - two tiers of membership. Free is three lame game presents. $40 gets you what I think was free last year. I paid the $40, as I hope to get my 9 year old there enough to fill up the passport book. Got a Papi backpack as part if it.

Later in game, the Kids area was pretty empty. Perhaps a good place to escape crowds in game.

Yes, more beer places. Crazy lines. Is the Guiness Float new (Guiness with scoop of vanilla)?

Are the black scoreboard up third and first base lines in upper facade new? Above the luxury boxes.

Place looked great, super day for my boy's first Opening Day.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Also, while loge beer service sounds like it was on point, pavilion club was awful. A server on each side of our section came down as opening ceremonies started and passed out menus, never reaching us in the middle of the row (11-12) before stopping to take orders from those they did get to. Ok, they'll get us next pass. Top of second kid finally comes back with their beers and drinks, immediately leaves, so one of goes to get beers. Sixth inning they come back and ignore us from both sides again. Bottom eight they start giving people checks. It was our first time sitting there so not sure if it was first day kinks or normal, but our section way maybe 2/3 full. Small bitch about a great day, but it bugged us.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Lose Remerswaal said:
Had a great time at the game today.  Saw a few changes around the park and I'm sure I missed a few.
 
TV Cameras in CF were raised up to just below the "sill" from the Monster standing room extension, and more seats were added where the camera position used to be (not used today, of course)..
With the change in camera position, is there a change in the (excellent) NESN center field camera angle?
 

Delicious Sponge

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* Dark and Stormys are now being served

* There's a DJ behind the bleachers pre-game. He managed to play right through the moment of silence for Menino and Bresciani.

* They're doing a big screen "dance off" between one of the innings, sponsored by New Balance.

* They installed a new CF and it looks very promising.
 

PeaceSignMoose

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Definitely a lot more craft beer choices, but the biggest thing I noticed (not for the better) is that even at what used to be domestic beer stands, there are now usually 1 domestic and 1 craft beer option.  While options are always nice, it doubled the wait for people buying two coors lights at a time.  Line at Coors Light at one point wasn't brutally long, and yet we almost missed two full innings of play.
 

In my lifetime

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I have been to quite a few opening days and realize there is a learning curve for new employees. However, this year there were significant problems and it just seemed like the staff was not ready and were inadequately trained.

Getting into the park through security, which I was told was changed due to MLB regulations was a half hour project. The simple process of getting a hot dog took 10 minutes after reaching the front of the line. Food in general was just not ready In a timely fashion. Since getting your food seemed difficult, we tried the waiter service and on a drink order of 2 items, one item was completely wrong.

Nothing that can't be fixed, but it seemed to me there were issues that I have never seen there before. But really I feel guilty saying anything negative, almost nothing can ruin an opening day win during a beautiful day at Fenway Park.
 

Leon Trotsky

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Yes, noticed lots of expensive craft beer choices, at every stand. I saw tons of people in bleachers with retro Miller Lite cans, but could not figure out where they were getting them. I was hoping they were coming from hot dog stands so you could double up on food and beer, but I don't think so. 
 
I got in at Gate C right at 2:15 in less than 3 minutes. The two bag check lines were pretty long but the middle no-bag line, which was letting people with bags in anyway, was non-existent. Opening day beer lines are always extremely long. This one was no exception. Overall, the place looked as good as ever.
 

Hendu for Kutch

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With the new MLB security restrictions, are you still able to cut through Who's On First to get around all the lines?  That's been a favorite trick of mine for years.
 

behindthepen

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I saw Harpoon cans in the bleachers too.  There's now a Bud Lite/Shocktop spot right outside my seats at Section 41, which may have opened later last year.
 
I think the Dark & Stormy's come out of can.
 
The beer lines are always much worse on days like yesterday.  They were breaking in new payment terminals, and were a little unprepared with things like having a pen to sign a credit card receipt.  Most of the vendors I saw were veterans, so I assume most of the regular food/drink stuff will get ironed out in a couple of days.
 
One thing that cracked us up... the side scoreboard in CF always shows some kind of split statistic for the batter.  Yet for Sandy Leon, they left it blank for every one of his at bats.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Mugsys Jock said:
With the change in camera position, is there a change in the (excellent) NESN center field camera angle?
I hadn't really noticed any change until the new camera location was pointed out. The angle is slightly to the 1st base side now .. and a little steeper
 

Leon Trotsky

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behindthepen said:
I saw Harpoon cans in the bleachers too.  There's now a Bud Lite/Shocktop spot right outside my seats at Section 41, which may have opened later last year.
 
I think the Dark & Stormy's come out of can.
 
The beer lines are always much worse on days like yesterday.  They were breaking in new payment terminals, and were a little unprepared with things like having a pen to sign a credit card receipt.  Most of the vendors I saw were veterans, so I assume most of the regular food/drink stuff will get ironed out in a couple of days.
 
One thing that cracked us up... the side scoreboard in CF always shows some kind of split statistic for the batter.  Yet for Sandy Leon, they left it blank for every one of his at bats.
 
I think you sit right in front of us in Section 41. One Red Seat, Fairlee76, and myself sit in row 19. We could have our own mini bash out there.
 

Delicious Sponge

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behindthepen said:
 
One thing that cracked us up... the side scoreboard in CF always shows some kind of split statistic for the batter.  Yet for Sandy Leon, they left it blank for every one of his at bats.
They also posted interleague splits for Panda at one point - which is pretty much exactly the opposite of what they should have been showing for him.
 

twibnotes

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I think there is a huge opportunity to unveil more beer options, particularly craft beers.  A buddy of mine who follows this stuff closely (he owns a bar/restaurant in Marblehead) was commenting on how a lot of MLB parks are going this route (e.g, Founders at Comerica or Ballast Point at Petco).  Would be cool if Allagash or Trillium, for instance, were sold at Fenway.  Doesn't have to be regional to suit my tastes, though - I'd love to be able to grab a Founders All Day IPA.
 

ChinaCat2

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actually, isn't having the cans themselves in the stands new this year? I can't remember ever being given a choice...they poured the beer into a plastic cup, even when it came in a can. I would imagine just selling the cans would speed up the beer lines a bit.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Pitch speeds were being shown more often and for longer times last night
 
On Yawkey Way there's a Mei Mei stand and a Roxy's Grilled Cheese stand, but only for April, as they'll be rotating slots with other food truck type services there.
 
There's a new Emergency Exit in the CF bleachers, behind section 36, that they had to put in due to the increase in seating with the move of the TV Camera spot.  It doesn't appear to be alarmed, so it's a quick exit to the CF stairway up to the Monster seats.
 
Lines to get in to the park a few minutes before game time were non-existent on Yawkey Way, so they figured out ways to get folks in faster.  Attendance was only 2-3000 fewer than Monday so it wasn't just the smaller crowd that affected this.
 
Who's On First is still a way to get in to the park, there's a security guy with a metal detecting wand checking the folks heading in to Yawkey Way.
 
Definitely still have the AL East standings out there in LF.
 

underhandtofirst

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The line across from the Cask was very slow moving.  The process to have people empty their pockets to put phones, etc in the bins before moving through the metal detectors was very slow.  Security Theatre at its finest.  It looks like they are trying to mimic airport security processes.   The area is so congested I don't know how they can be sure to check everyone, if that is indeed their intent.
 
It was just a matter of time before the upper loge seats had beer sales in the stands.  $9.50 for all kinds except $8.00 for Narragansett.
 
edit: removed comment on timer in CF
 
Crowd was later arriving that I can recall in past years.  The 6pm start probably accounts for many of the late arrivals, but something I'll watch as the season goes along.
 

Super Nomario

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twibnotes said:
I think there is a huge opportunity to unveil more beer options, particularly craft beers.  A buddy of mine who follows this stuff closely (he owns a bar/restaurant in Marblehead) was commenting on how a lot of MLB parks are going this route (e.g, Founders at Comerica or Ballast Point at Petco).  Would be cool if Allagash or Trillium, for instance, were sold at Fenway.  Doesn't have to be regional to suit my tastes, though - I'd love to be able to grab a Founders All Day IPA.
You should hit up a SeaDogs game - they typically have four or five microbrew options, or at least did the last time I was there.
 

Hank Scorpio

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Seems like they're showing "video portraits" of players when introducing the lineups now - not sure if they did that last year or not. Stuff like a player looking up as his name is called off, or shimmying in his batting stance, or whatever.
 
Regardless, I was really hoping Pablo Sandoval's would start of with him about to take a giant bite out of a cheeseburger, then hurriedly tossing it aside and wiping off his face as his name is called off.
 
Also, from the "I never noticed" department, on the back, left centerfield wall of the bleachers, there's a closed door marked with an exit sign. It's probably been there for years, but I never noticed it til last night. No idea where it would lead, as it's well above the concourse level. Asked the friend I was with, and he never noticed it either.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Hank Scorpio said:
 
 
Also, from the "I never noticed" department, on the back, left centerfield wall of the bleachers, there's a closed door marked with an exit sign. It's probably been there for years, but I never noticed it til last night. No idea where it would lead, as it's well above the concourse level. Asked the friend I was with, and he never noticed it either.
 
 
Lose Remerswaal said:
Pitch speeds were being shown more often and for longer times last night
 
On Yawkey Way there's a Bon Me stand and a Roxy's Grilled Cheese stand, but only for April, as they'll be rotating slots with other food truck type services there.
 
There's a new Emergency Exit in the CF bleachers, behind section 36, that they had to put in due to the increase in seating with the move of the TV Camera spot.  It doesn't appear to be alarmed, so it's a quick exit to the CF stairway up to the Monster seats.
 
Lines to get in to the park a few minutes before game time were non-existent on Yawkey Way, so they figured out ways to get folks in faster.  Attendance was only 2-3000 fewer than Monday so it wasn't just the smaller crowd that affected this.
 
Who's On First is still a way to get in to the park, there's a security guy with a metal detecting wand checking the folks heading in to Yawkey Way.
 
Definitely still have the AL East standings out there in LF.
 
*sigh*
 
I guess Hank has me pinked
 

Hank Scorpio

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Lose Remerswaal said:
 
 
 
*sigh*
 
I guess Hank has me pinked
 
Actually, I had this thread opened on my laptop when I got home last night, but didn't get around to replying til this morning.
 
But really, it's because you leave after the eighth inning. Yeah, yeah... gotta beat the crowds, right? Just do what I do, speed walk and weave through the crowds in the most obnoxious manner possible.
 
Or use the new emergency exit. That's gonna be my plan going forward.
 
Edit: Figured I'd ask here, but does anyone know the "outside food/drink policy" at Fenway? Seems to be at the discretion of the security people at the gate. I've had a sealed 32 ounce Gatorade taken away from me last season, because "only water is allowed" - and I've had water taken away from me because it was opened. Monday night, I brought in a sealed 1L bottle of Poland Springs without any issues, but last night they took it away for being "too big, only regular sized bottles are allowed". Never had any issues with bringing in candy or anything else. Don't really feel like dropping $4.25 on 16oz bottles of luke warm water this summer.
 

Max Power

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The official policy has been one regular sized unopened bottle of water per person with no restrictions on food. Some security guys will allow more, but nobody should give you any trouble doing that. I usually buy a case of water and save myself $100 over the course of the season by bringing bottles with me.
 
As for changes, the music they play in the park has become completely terrible. What used to be a mix of classic rock, new wave, alternative, and pop has turned into mainly Miley Cyrus and country.
 

behindthepen

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One thing I saw on opening day and forgot to mention. Between bleachers sections 40 and 41, in the first row, there is a POW/MIA memorial. A single black seat with a plaque.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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behindthepen said:
One thing I saw on opening day and forgot to mention. Between bleachers sections 40 and 41, in the first row, there is a POW/MIA memorial. A single black seat with a plaque.
 
It was relocated there from its original spot on the Coca-Cola deck in left field (dedicated 7/4/13).  I imagine the relocation had to do with the construction and extended deck in that section of the park.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Lose Remerswaal said:
Pitch speeds were being shown more often and for longer times last night
 
On Yawkey Way there's a Bon Me stand and a Roxy's Grilled Cheese stand, but only for April, as they'll be rotating slots with other food truck type services there.
 
 
Correction:  Not Bon Me, but Mei Mei.
 

behindthepen

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sittingstill said:
 
There is a stand in the concourse under the bleachers called "Meatball Obsession: The Original Meatball in a Cup." I have apparently missed the wave of copycat meatball in a cup vendors.
 
they put the other meatball in a cup guys out of business.
 

PseuFighter

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there's a twitter vending machine thing under the bleachers next to the nacho stand that spits out a prize for tweeting about it. i walked home with a truck day truck (yes, this is really a thing) today.
 

PseuFighter

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all seating sections are getting wifi around the all-star break (i'll post the tweet i saw with this in a bit).
 

snowmanny

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behindthepen said:
One thing I saw on opening day and forgot to mention. Between bleachers sections 40 and 41, in the first row, there is a POW/MIA memorial. A single black seat with a plaque.
Wait...is the flag gone?  I was there Sunday but didn't notice.  I remember a zillion years ago when they put the flag up my brother said" the only problem with putting it up is how do you ever take it down?"
 

Lose Remerswaal

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I didn't look for the flag, but I did see the seat. It's in among the wheelchair seating, up against the bullpens, but it's set up close to the fence so the seat can't be lowered and no one can sit in it.  There's a plaque there, too.
 

 
Looks like it might not be up there in this shot
 

snowmanny

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Actually it is under the American flag that flies over the press box at the front of the park.  I'm in the centerfield bleachers so I usually notice it.  It's probably still there, but the black seat seems like a more elegant tribute.