Fans who pile into Fenway Park on Thursday, April 5, for the Red Sox’s home opener against the Tampa Bay Rays may notice two big changes at Major League Baseball’s oldest park.
One is a run of field-green safety netting that now extends beyond the dugouts nearly to the foul lines. The 12-foot-high netting is designed to protect fans from foul balls, flying bats, etc., and is part of a larger league safety initiative.
The other big change—and probably more noticeable as it’s not designed to blend in with the surroundings—is a new seating area called the Jim Beam Dugout (brought to you by bourbon!). It’s next to the photographers’ pit alongside the Red Sox dugout. The 25 fans there can basically pull up a stool and see the game as the players do.
A final change: Given that Sam Adams is now Fenway’s official beer, replacing Budweiser, a new 74-foot neon Sam Adams sign will loom from the right-field roof deck (which, conveniently enough, is now the “Sam Deck” with a craft beer concession).