SBD/February 1, 2011/Franchises

Red Sox Execs Talk Fenway, Busy Offseason At Town Hall Meeting

Werner, Lucchino reiterate that ownership is committed to both Red Sox and Liverpool
The Red Sox yesterday conducted the "first NESN-televised Town Hall meeting," marking the "culmination of a listening tour Red Sox officials began last April in Hartford," according to Michael Vega of the BOSTON GLOBE. Last night, a "select group of 175 fans, comprised of longtime season ticket-holders, sponsors, and players from several local softball and baseball teams, was allowed to pose questions on a variety of topics" to a panel that included Red Sox Chair Tom Werner, President & CEO Larry Lucchino, Exec VP & GM Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona. Vega notes before the Red Sox acquired Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez this offseason, there "seemed to be a concern among Sox fans whether ownership had properly allocated its resources" after buying EPL club Liverpool. Werner: "Then after the two acquisitions that we made to stock our roster, those kind of comments were less in Boston, but more in Liverpool -- 'Now that you’ve spent tens of millions of dollars on players in Boston, what about us?' But we made some player moves today in Liverpool people on that side of the Atlantic are happy about." Lucchino stressed that he, along with the rest of the owners, is "fully focused on the Red Sox." He joked, "I burned my passport a few weeks ago." Lucchino noted that the ownership group, now in its 10th year, has "made investments totaling $285 million in the improvement of Fenway Park and indicated that this offseason was no different, citing the addition of three new high-definition video boards above the center-field bleachers and massive upgrades and renovations to the concourses near Gate D." He added, "People are going to be pleased. All the construction and improvements we have done through the years will ensure that Fenway is here for years and years to come" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/1).

THE MORE THE MERRIER: Lucchino last night indicated that he "expects capacity to increase by roughly 100 seats to around 37,500 for night games, a few hundred fewer for day games." ESPN BOSTON's Gordon Edes noted the Red Sox "can sell anywhere from 500 to 1,500 standing room admissions." But Lucchino said that "capacity will be pegged around the 37,500 figure." In addition, he "expressed confidence that the team will extend its record consecutive sellout streak, saying the team has sold around 2.1 million tickets, but stressed that hundreds of thousands of tickets remain available" (, 1/31). Werner said, "One of the things I hear all the time, and this is an example, ‘It’s tough to get tickets to Red Sox games.' We’ve had this policy of capping our season tickets at 20,000, so that families can come to an occasional game. I think if we wanted to, we could’ve capped our season tickets at a much higher number, but there are hundreds of thousands of tickets available and it’s important for us to communicate that kind of message" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/1).
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