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With Fenway Park's 99th opening day still eight weeks away, Red Sox brass were eager to show off some major improvements made to the storied ballpark during the off-season.
"This is the 10th and final inning of major improvements at Fenway Park," said Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino.
Lucchino spoke to reporters gathered in the left field grandstand as a crane hoisted a state-of-the-art light emitting diode (LED) module that will be part of a new, high-definition center field scoreboard.
"Our fans are going to appreciate the new HD video boards in center field," Lucchino said.
The high-tech video display scoreboard — 100 feet wide by 38 feet high — is the centerpiece of off-season improvements costing the team $40 million this year. This is the 10th and final year of major ballpark improvements made by the owners since they took control of the team in 2001. Lucchino says the owners have spent $285 million on upgrades over the last decade.
"It is designed to make the ballpark [a] better, bigger, more comfortable place for people to be, and to ensure that Fenway Park stays around for the next 20, 30, 40 years," Lucchino said.
Lucchino said architects and engineers have assured team owners Fenway Park will last that long and continue to have the charm and appeal fans have come to expect.
Other major improvements being made this winter include replacing or refurbishing 10,000 seats in the right field lower grandstand, and a major overhaul of the ballpark's main "Gate D" concourse area.
"We created two new and expanded concession stands which will offer fans a new variety of menu items," said Red Sox Executive VP of Business Affairs Jonathan Gilula.
There will be new concrete surfaces on the concourse ramps that should make it easier to move through the crowds on game days.
"The bumpiness that you'd walk through is being corrected now so you'll be able to make your way from the Gate D area, all the way around to Gate C in the right field concourse," Gilula said.
The walkways will have new, firm concrete pavers which team officials say will be a big improvement. Still, the ballpark is expected to retain the Fenway experience.
About 200 construction workers have been working around the clock at Fenway Park to get all the work done by the time of the Red Sox home opener against the New York Yankees on April 8.
This program aired on February 11, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.
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