By Beth Treffeisen
The Boston Landmarks Commission approved four of the six projects proposed for Fenway Park at a meeting Tuesday.
One of the projects passed included the replacement of the bullpen field wall with a new removable wall to allow for a college size football field along with a Federation of International Football Association soccer field to be held at the park during off-season.
Repair and reinforcement of the right field foul pole was passed along with the replacement of the Cumberland Farms sign with a new LED light board.
Upgrades to the Grandstand bar and seating will allow for the removal of 358 seats to be replaced with a group area. This is situated in the part of the park where fans have to crank their neck to get a good view of the game.
Although there will be a loss of seats in order to have more standing room, there will be an additional 124 new seats towards the bottom with the expansion of the dugout wall that will move out 3 feet and 6 inches to make space for the new seats.
Commissioners had questions about the dugout and dugout expansion along with the new day of game suites and asked that they return with more detailed renderings.
“I’m still trying to wrap my head around the dugout,” said Commissioner David Berarducci who was questioning where the new lines of seats are going to go.
Commissioner Richard Yeager had concerns about the new day of game suites that will block off part of the top pavilion.
“One of the nice experiences in that pavilion is the breeze way,” said Yeager. “We are creating an interesting precedent in as the years go along we will add a pavilion and then add another pavilion. You know, it is nice to watch the sunset on that breeze way.”
There are already two day of game suites that sit on the breeze way that will sit next to the two that are being proposed.
“This is a whole process and we are committed to work with the city’s departments,” said David Friedman representing the Boston Red Sox who is a happy with the results.
But for Christian Fry, a season ticket holder of 30 years and Allston resident said she does not like the idea of the new big LED video board.
Fry said she knows it is meant to enhance the fans experience but believes it emits too much LED brightness and kinetic movement. She said, “I don’t want to feel like I’m at my house watching T.V.”
Fry who usually sits in the bleachers said that when she wants to see a board they simply turn their heads, “I’m just not sure it is necessary. For many years all of us in the bleachers have just crane our heads and we don’t complain that.”
For Erika Tarlin a resident of Somerville and a fan of the baseball team for about 50 years had some concerns too.
“From the game plan view the lost of fowl terrority I think is a big mistake,” she said. “I know seats have been added incrementally but this really has a big effect on the game and that to me is the most important thing.”
But she said, she understands the needs for the dugout to add more room but voiced her concern for the loss of 300 plus seats, standing room, and the crowding of the upper level with more game of day suites.
“To echo the comment of the commissioner, the lost of the lightness of the place when you can see through,” said Tarlin. “It may be rare in other ball parks but that’s what makes Fenway unique is that we do have these elements.”