Fenway Sports Group Proposes Fenway Theater
Boston, MA– Fenway Sports Group, the company that owns the Boston Red Sox, is looking to increase neighborhood revenue by adding a performing arts center down the street from Fenway Park. In a 333-page proposal, the group suggested the creation of a Fenway Theater to the Boston Planning & Development agency last month. The city of Boston is now considering the benefits of the proposed project.
If the project is approved for construction, it will be built on a triangular piece of land at the intersection of Lansdowne and Ipswich streets. Currently, this space is a parking lot and parking garage. Both parking areas are connected to Fenway Park. The proposed plan suggests tearing down part of the parking garage and getting rid of the parking lot entirely to make room for a performing arts center. The building will be triangular and will house a rooftop bar with a red brick facade. This suggestion is in accordance with the design implemented at Fenway Park.
If all goes as planned, the theater will be able to seat 5,400 people, hosting anywhere from 100 to 150 events every year.
WBUR broke down some key components of the proposal, summarized here.
1. The Fenway Sports Group will not be distracted from its first priority: Sports.
While the proposal focuses on the creation of a theater, Fenway Park will not be neglected. In fact, there will be additions built onto the stadium. A two-story addition will be added above the parking garage to increase game-day amenities. Increased seating, a concessions stand, and a bar will be added to this upper level.
2. The proposal argues that the theater would bring business to the Fenway neighborhood during baseball’s off-season.
The proposed plan aims to make the neighborhood a year-round destination. If all goes well, the Fenway Theater would bring in millions of dollars worth of revenue, especially to local restaurants and shops. Also, there would be hundreds of full-time and part-time workers hired once the operation is in full swing.
3. The House of Blues and the Fenway Theater will not clash heads.
The House of Blues is located down the street, but thanks to a partnership between Fenway Sports Group and venue operator Crossroads Events, there would be close collaboration between the venues to ensure that they are not competing with each other. The plan states: “This relationship will ensure that scheduling of events planned for the two venues will be closely coordinated.”
4. The Fenway Theater would like to collaborate with local schools.
Because the new Fenway Theater will be located only a few miles away from Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory, the theater plans to work with students from both locations. Students would have the opportunity to perform in the venue or to gain experience via employment and internships.
If the Boston Planning & Development Agency, along with all city officials, approves the plan, construction will start after the 2019 baseball season ends. Fenway Park construction will occur first, as it will need to be completed by next year’s baseball season. The plan is projected to be finished by 2021, if approved.
Image via Wikimedia by Bernard Gagnon [CC BY-SA 3.0]