THE CHANGES TO FENWAY PARK SINCE THE OWNERSHIP GROUP FORMED BY John Henry, Larry Lucchino and Tom Werner took over the Red Sox in 2002 have been far reaching yet character preserving. The most significant, inarguably, were the championship flags that flew in the wake of the long-sought World Series victories of 2004 and '07. The most visible, of course, are the 269 seats added in 2003 atop the Green Monster. Bringing Fenway up to date has turned the iconic building into a "365-day facility," in the words of director of ballpark planning and development Paul Hanlon.
Beginning in 2003 visitors could tour the park year-round, and new or revamped (and of course sponsored) function spaces—the Absolut ClubHouse, State Street Pavilion and EMC Club—host weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs and meetings at any time of year. The Red Sox have also added three displays about the history of the franchise and the stadium, with original ticket booths from Gate A commemorating the championship seasons of 1946, '67, '75, '86, 2004 and '07.
The roster of events has expanded as well. Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett, the Rolling Stones, the Dave Matthews Band and Neil Diamond all have packed Fenway over the last decade.
On Jan. 1, 2010, the NHL hosted its annual Winter Classic at Fenway, the first hockey game at the park. The ballpark staff began a winterization process as soon as the '09 baseball season ended—to ensure that the pipes in the concourse, which are normally shut down in November, wouldn't freeze. Around 160 staff members pitched in to shovel the park before the Classic. One week later Fenway hosted two college hockey games. That event was such a success that another doubleheader, Frozen Fenway, was scheduled for January 2012. "For so long the doors were closed at the end of the season," says Hanlon. Now memories are made in winter as well as summer.