Gammons vs. Gammons

“The first thing that [team architect] Janet Marie Smith did was knock down this huge, ugly wall that encased the park. Then they added the Monster seats. People complain about it, and all the ads. But you know what? Then they couldn’t have players. And people now have really come to embrace it, because the seats don’t change. They’re still as uncomfortable as they ever were and all that. But the place has the feeling of a new park.” -ESPN’s Peter Gammons, explaining why renovation of Fenway Park was a good idea, Oct. 22, 2007

“The park is a ’53 Fairlane with 457,163 miles. They can’t keep patching it. It can’t be rebuilt on that swamp. They can’t clean it. They’ll never be able to easily get you two dogs, two beers and a pretzel.” -ESPN’s Peter Gammons, explaining why renovation of Fenway Park would be impossible, Nov. 12, 2000

15 comments on “Gammons vs. Gammons

  1. Sooner or later the red sox will need a new ball park. You can’t expanding a old ballpark. Unfortunately the team might have to move out of boston when they get a new park.

  2. Dan, I don’t see the Red Sox moving out of Fenway, let alone out of Boston.

    It’s not the number of seats in the ballpark that count, it’s the value of the seats. The trend in new baseball stadiums is to fewer but better seats. Even the new Yankee Stadium will have less capacity than the old one, but it will generate a whole lot more $$$.

    Fenway is a gold mine.

  3. The new yankee stadium will hold 51,000 fans. Fenway park how many does it seat 36,000 fans. Ican see the sox moving out of fenway and also boston if someone gave them a sweetheart deal. The patriots dont play in boston it can be the same for the red sox too.

  4. Gammons is an idiot. He will say whatever it is that favors the prevailing opinions of that day.

  5. dan, baseball is an inner city game. Only the Texas Rangers are a suburban team and maybe Oakland is if they move to fremont. And remember Oaklands 1st choice was to build in Oakland but they didn’t have the land for the Ballpark Village. Football stadiums are easier to build in the suburbs because they only have 8 home games a year. Also next season the redsox are removing the roof boxes and extending the seating down the lines. By 2012 they are going to gut the lower seating bowl and add more isles and space inbetween each seat. Also you are wrong about fenways capacity. It will be 39 thousand something for next year. it was 36 before the renovations. Most of the new parks other than the new Yankee stadium are in the low 40,000s. By the time the new owners are done with the renovation they will have spent 300 million dollars on renovations. They have also bought a lot of land/restraunts around fenway to preserve the views and prevent high rises from being built. If they had any thought of moving they wouldn’t have invested 300 million dollars plus bought land. Besides by 2012 in a lot of ways fenway will be a new park. Really what will be left of the old park other than the monster and old brick work outside? The concorses have been expanded/gutted, the club houses have been expanded, they added a million bathrooms, many more concession stands/restraunts.

  6. With all the money the red sox is putting into fenway you could have gotten a new stadium. And if you are telling me if they did get a sweetheart deal from someone they wouldnt move . They answer is they would.

  7. They are getting a new stadium. All that will be left is the green monster and old brickwork outside. And for marketing purposes that can call the stadium “historic” because a few parts are left. And since the stadium is “historic” they not only draw red sox fans but tons of tourists. Thats why they can charge 13 more dollars per tickets than the next highest team. (wrigley is 2nd at $34 dollars a ticket. And no i don’t think if they got a sweetheart deal from a suburb they would move because suburban baseball don’t work and attendance would go down and thus people would pay 47 dollars a ticket. Remember red sox president Larry Lucchino is the inventor of the retro park(he designed Camden Yards)and every retro park is downtown except for one. It is too hard for people to travel to the suburbs for 81 games. It’s not like football. If the sox were going to leave fenway the new owners would have said when they took over “gosh we investigated the structural integrity of fenway park and John Harrington is right, its going to collaspe and everyone is going to die”. “We tried to save the old girl and couldn’t”. Fenway park= good business. They can charge the highest price by far, if the team loses fans will come regardless since the stadium is “historic”, they got or will have every modern ammentity a new park will have by 2012, plus fenway is also a offseason destination for people. They do over 300,000 tours a year plus rent fenway out during the offseason for weddings/business meetings. No deal that a suburb can off would be as sweet as fenway short of offering a stadium made out of gold. If fenway was bad business the new owners would have asked for a new park just like every owner does. They got creative and John Harrington was a bad business man. Even before the renovations Fenway was a gold mine. When John Harrington was trying to get the new fenway Bankers balked at lending the Sox $352 million for their private share of the stadium, reasoning that the team was making money hand over fist at a perennially sold-out Fenway, so it would be hard-pressed to improve on that much at a new park.

  8. They red sox owners did ask for a new stadium but people were against it. Ihave been to fenway it is not a enjoyable place to watch a game. You are squashed there like a sardine.

  9. not the new owners. The old owners asked for a new stadium. I agree 100% about being squashed like a sardine. The lower bowl seats at fenway suck horribly. The seats are also facing toward the monster instead of the pitchers mound. By 2012 the lower bowl will be gutted and this problem will be fixed. They started with the upper deck 1st and are working there way down. by opening day next year the upper deck will be finished and completely new. be patient fenway is a work in progress yet. NO one is saying leave fenway how it is. I agree that it need a lot lot more work yet.

  10. The Red Sox aren’t moving. They were forced into a scarcity pricing model by Fenway Park and are doing better than they would have in a 50,000 seat stadium.

    I don’t fault Gammons for having a different view 7 years later. He’s definitely a homer’s homer but a lot of people were impressed with how well the modifications at Fenway turned out.

  11. Dear dan “I have been to fenway it is not a enjoyable place to watch a game” — please stay away. More tickets for me.

    You clearly have no idea what you are talking about. The current Red Sox ownership always favored renovation, though they did their homework before committing to it. The previous “owner” (a caretaker accountant) was incompetent in every regard save one — he understood the new stadium swindle so well documented in Field of Schemes. Secure a huge government subsidy right before you sell, and you can include it in the sales price.

    Ironically, the current owners have had to spend years undoing the damage his neglect of the facility caused, and the bad PR.

    While the public was always, according to dozens of opinion polls, against demolishing Fenway, the politicians had already caved BEFORE the current ownership came on board. They were vilified by the press and the old boys network for not continuing down the path of demolition.

    But they knew better. Among other things, the real money in the franchise is the TV revenue, and Fenway is the most photogenic ballpark there is.

    P.S. Next year there will be all new seats in the bleacher section. And the team will make another strong run at the World Series. Life is good.