BOSTON – Fenway Park is all dressed up and ready for its 100th birthday party.

The Boston Red Sox wrapped up 10 years and $285 million in improvements for the ballpark this offseason, unveiling HD video boards and a home plate concourse that have the oldest ballpark in the major leagues looking like new in time for its 100th opening day Friday.

By completing the renovations this winter, the Red Sox leave themselves next offseason to prepare for a 100th anniversary celebration next summer. Fenway opened April 20, 1912; no major league stadium has survived to be 100, leaving the team president, Larry Lucchino, to look elsewhere for comparisons.

“Rome had one for the 100th year of the Colosseum,” he said.

But the Colosseum didn’t have three HD video boards in center or concession stands selling sushi. Among the other new features is a concourse behind home plate with, for the first time in decades, a smooth cement floor and crowd space.

“When you consider the pictures we’ve seen of the ballpark in the 20th century, it really is more vibrant than it ever was,” said the owner, John Henry.

“Since the moment we arrived, the restoration of Fenway Park has been a real labor of love. It’s been nine years. The end result is better than anything we could have imagined.”

The decade-long renovation began shortly after Henry’s group bought the team and decided not to replace the crumbling facility with one of the old-time replicas that were in fashion. Instead they have spent the winters working on the ballpark in sections.

“That will make Fenway viable for 30 or 40 more years,” Lucchino said.

 


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