On April 13th, we held our ‘Fenway of the Future’ Spring Chapter Meeting at Fenway Park. Our members expanded their network by hearing a special presentation with valuable insights into Fenway Sports Group’s (FSG) massive 3-stage development plan for the area.
David Friedman, Executive Vice President of The Boston Red Sox and Senior Counsel of FSG, gave insights into FSG’s plan for developing Fenway Park and approximately 2 million square feet of new buildings in the surrounding neighborhood via a joint venture.
Read on to learn about the revitalization of Fenway and the exciting future (and opportunities) in store for the neighborhood.
Saving and Revitalizing Fenway Park
Built in 1912, Fenway Park is MLB’s oldest active stadium and an iconic landmark. However, historic charm doesn’t come without challenges, Friedman said.
In 2000, when former Red Sox CEO John Harrington put the team up for bidding - leaving the dubious fate of Fenway to the new owner - nearly all potential investors were keen to demolish the ballpark, which was ailing financially and had mainstream support for a replacement.
Bidders were eager to transform Fenway into a 21st Century stadium with more seating and multiple avenues to generate more revenue.
Fenway Sports Group, who acquired the Red Sox a year later, were committed to preserving and revitalizing The Cathedral of Baseball.
FSG got creative and added seats to the Green Monster and created the Jim Beam Dugout, to expand the stadium’s capacity of 40,000. In 2005 a larger part of the saving Fenway strategy was to buy parcels around Fenway to protect views from the park and protect from encroachment by other developers.
Fenway 2.0 is an ongoing plan to improve, enhance, and expand Fenway inside and outside the stadium walls, while creating the best possible fan and family experience.
Projects already completed - to the tune of $400 million in private investing - include: expanding the footprint by closing Jersey St., creating video boards, creating a WiFi network, waterproofing the concrete, and green initiatives.
Looking forward, FSG aims to make the stadium carbon neutral by next year, and improve the stadium while retaining its historic charm.
The new and largest stage includes enhancing the surrounding area.
MGM Music Hall, in the former parking parcels, is in the 9th inning of completion, with three NECA contractors on the job. (Read more about our involvement here).
Through the joint venture WS Development called Fenway Corners, there is a master plan to holistically enhance the entire Fenway-Kenmore area. With a dozen new buildings approved/in the pipeline, it is rife with construction opportunities, especially electrical and telecom ones for NECA Boston members.
Our Values and Networks Aligned for Growth:
FSG, Friedman remarked, is committed to being good neighbors and enhancing the local community.
With diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), an eco-friendly focus and philanthropic/community involvement, FSG’s values are well aligned with NECA Boston’s to use our networks to not only grow your business, but the entire community.
We’re not just building through construction. We’re an essential part of our economy, the communities we build and connect, and it’s a responsibility we embrace completely. Our extensive advocacy with elected officials and the community positions our network for success in building the neighborhood.
With our Chapter’s commitment to building career, economic and professional growth for our members and for the local residents within the communities we build, we are equipping our industry-leading contractors to become a part of the bright future of Fenway.