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Volume 26 No. 7

Facilities

A sketch of the venue depicts a three-story complex with a roof deck and front doors facing the crowd
Photo: FENWAY SPORTS GROUP

The Red Sox and Live Nation said that they have "plans to build a performing arts center alongside Fenway Park that would be the city’s largest indoor venue of its kind," according to Tim Logan of the BOSTON GLOBE. Called Fenway Theater, the venue would "seat 5,000 people and sit on a triangle of land behind the ballpark’s bleachers, between Lansdowne and Ipswich streets, an area mainly used for parking." Fenway Sports Group Chair Tom Werner said that the team "hopes the project will also further establish the neighborhood as a destination for visitors beyond the baseball season." A Red Sox spokesperson "described the plans as 'preliminary,' saying it would be 'premature' to discuss square footage, project costs, and other specifics." Logan noted no documents have been "filed with the Boston Planning & Development Agency, which would have to approve the project." A BPDA spokesperson said that the team has had "no in-depth conversations with City Hall about its plans." The project also "may have to win over neighbors" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/29). In Boston, Amelia Mason noted a sketch of the venue "depicts a three-story complex with a roof deck and front doors facing the crowds streaming down Landsdowne toward the baseball park" (WBUR.org, 9/28). Red Sox VP/Corporate Communications Zineb Curran said that the space is "currently empty and 'primarily used as a lot for satellite trucks during games'" (BOSTON.com, 9/28).

Information from these machines can show trends, such as popular concession stands
Photo: HAPPYORNOT

The Wells Fargo Center has "installed 75 'HappyOrNot' machines to allow fans to rate restrooms, retail locations and concession stands," according to Christian Hetrick of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER. The machines have just four buttons -- "ranging from dark green and very smiley to bright red and really frowny -- and collect volumes of anonymous data." The information from these machines can "show trends, such as popular concession stands or a day of the week when customer satisfaction consistently drops off." The Wells Fargo Center is the "first NBA/NHL arena in the country to install the machines," as part of a multiyear, $250M renovation project. Finland-based HappyOrNot claims the machines "collect responses" from 20% or more of "foot traffic at a given location," compared with 2% for the traditional survey. Comcast Spectacor Senior Manager of Guest Experience Mandy Bauer said that the "instant feedback on smart phones" has helped Wells Fargo Center "address issues as they occur since it started using the devices" during a concert in September. During a recent Flyers game, staff "got an alert on a men's bathroom" because 30% of the responses were "negative in a 15-minute time frame" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/29).

Marlins officials hope for a new standing-room area where "Homer" currently is located
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Marlins CEO Derek Jeter is "pitching a new plan" to relocate the $2.5M Marlins Park home run sculpture outside the ballpark, and the team views it as a "key element to a major refresh" of the venue, according to Douglas Hanks of the MIAMI HERALD. A new standing-room area where "Homer" stands now would "target a younger crowd with tickets priced below the current minimum cost of $12." Marlins President of Business Operations Chip Bowers described the sculpture's current home "being transformed into a three-tier structure, with the lowest floor reserved for large groups." Bowers said that the plan "can’t move forward" with the sculpture currently in place. The Marlins are "pitching the concept as a win for public art," but the Sculpture's creator, Red Grooms, "could veto the plan." Miami-Dade County owns the sculpture, and Mayor Carlos Gimenez has "told the Marlins to get Grooms to agree to any kind of relocation." But Grooms "continues to resist" moving his seven-story monument away from center field. He said, "I don’t want to take him out." Hanks noted without an artist endorsement, Miami-Dade "risks the piece being devalued if Grooms exercises his right to 'disavow' the work for being ripped from its original setting." Jeter is "personally trying to win over Grooms to a new home for the sculpture." Grooms said of talking with Jeter, “He was very nice. He was sensitive about everything. I very much liked him. I’m sorry we have opposing views of this situation” (MIAMI HERALD, 9/29).