February 10, 2005 [LINK]
Home improvement at Fenway
By amazing coincidence, just after the Fenway Park page on this site was "renovated," the Red Sox announced plans for further renovation and expansion of the real structure itself. The glass-enclosed elite "406 Club" behind home plate, built in 1989, will be opened and expanded to two tiers. Wade Boggs and other former Red Sox players believe that that structure altered wind currents in a way that made it harder to hit home runs. (I find that hard to believe.) By the 2006 season, the total capacity will be nearly 39,000, including (minimal) standing room. This does not necessarily mean the Red Sox have decided to stay at their old home indefinitely, however:
"The interim steps taken from 2002 to 2006 are not to be construed as part of a 'master plan' to renovate or redevelop Fenway Park," they wrote, "but rather are part of an ongoing commitment to improve the fan experience and neighborhood presence while evaluating the long-term options for renovation and Fenway Park's ultimate future." [SOURCE: Boston Globe]
For a more ambitious alternative, based on a solid long-term commitment to preserving the historic structure, see charleshagenah.com. Save Fenway Park! Hat tip to Bruce Orser.
Rather belatedly, yet another stadium name change has come to my attention: Oakland Coliseum, a.k.a "Network Associates Coliseum," has been renamed "McAfee Coliseum." It's an unusual circumstance in that the corporation itself was renamed, somewhat like the Pac Bell - SBC transition. This was announced last April and apparently took effect late in the year. It confirms, once again, my hesitation to adopt new stadium names, especially when they are based on deals with ephemeral, fly-by-night high-tech corporations. Hat tip to Mike Zurawski.
All Star Game at SBC
Commissioner Selig appeared in San Francisco to announce that SBC Park has been awarded the 2007 All-Star Game. It's clearly among the very best of the neoclassical stadiums, and some have speculated that the delay in getting an All Star game there reflected the grumblings among MLB owners that the Giants' owners financed their new home almost entirely on their own, undercutting other owners who are seeking to get public funds for such purposes. Question: Will the stadium still be called SBC Park by then? Afterwards, Selig was queried about Jose Canseco's forthcoming book Juiced, about the steroid/doping plague, and the suggestion that owners -- including George W. Bush, former co-owner of the Texas Rangers -- knew about the problem back in the 1990s. Selig called the charges "nonsense." See mlb.com.