Fenway Park is changing ahead of the 2022 Boston Red Sox home opener

BOSTON — Jim Rice, Hall of Famer, stood in front of Fenway Park’s new TV studio and gazed out at a field that hardly resembles the one he played on for 16 years.

After the performance, he declared: “It is good.” Red SoxIn advance of Friday's home opener, I gave a tour of the new cashless and more carbon-friendly ballpark. “You need to keep up with the times.

“The rules have changed. The players also change. The fundamentals of baseball are changing. The game is ever-changing. There is no stopping the game of baseball.

The most noticeable of these changes this year is the addition of a bar and deck area to the right field stands. It's located near the red seat, where Ted Williams' longest home run was landed. Fans can order at the concession stand from their seats or from a touchscreen. Drinks can also be taken from a cooler, and they can be paid at a “visual identification and AI” self-checkout station.

The TV studio is located on the same deck. There are two windows that look out onto the field. Another window allows fans to view the broadcast live from the bar. The pre- and postgame broadcasts were previously aired from an elevated platform located outside the ballpark, just across the street from the main pedestrian arcade. The “521Overlook”, an event space that has a 130-foot high wall of windows overlooking field, is located one floor higher. It will be open for functions year round. It is named after Williams's home run total, but the Red Sox point out that it is 521 feet from home plate.

Fenway was first opened in 1912, the same week that the Titanic sink. Over the next eight decades, Fenway has seen a few improvements: an upper deck, a scoreboard here, and a Green Monster there. Since 2001, however, the changes have been faster and more dramatic under the new ownership. The ballpark has seen more than $400million spent on improvements, from the Monster Seats located above the left-field wall to a new drainage system.

Other improvements include:

• A new video board that is 62 feet by 16 feet — twice as wide as the one it replaces — sits above the right field concourse. Facades have also been upgraded with LED screens that display game information.

• The ballpark is fully cashless. Vendors will use cashless devices to collect payments at the stands. Fans who bring cash can load it onto a debit or credit card for use at the park and elsewhere.

• New concessions will include Platanos Maduros, Fluffer Nutter Fries and a Jalapeno Cheetos Hot Dog, as well as MingsBings, a vegan snack created by James Beard Award-winner Ming Tsai.

• The Red Sox will for the first time have a sponsor's name on the grass near the fungo circles during the season. Aspiration Planet Protection Fund will provide an offset for fans' carbon footprints.

Michelle Wu, the Mayor, was elected in November.

She said, “It took a lot energy and courage to keep that very special space here.

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