Tag Archives: fenway park obstructed view
Posted by Kurt Smith
Here it is, Fenway Park visitors and Red Sox fans, your complete, unobstructed and enormously useful Fenway Park seating guide. I’ve meticulously researched everything I could find about how to get the best seats at Fenway Park for your taste and budget, and the result is what you’re about to read.
If you’re visiting Fenway Park for the first time, you should definitely read this entire post; it contains information I wish I had known in my first couple of visits. Trust me, choosing your seat properly at Fenway is more important than at any other ballpark. Even if you’re a regular, you should find some useful stuff here.
Here is the breakdown of Fenway Park seating:
Fenway Park Seating Chart + Layout
Dugout Box Seats
Club + Pavilion Seating
Green Monster Seats
Right Field Roof Deck
Field + Loge Box Seats
Pavilion Box + Reserved Seats
Right Field Box + Upper Box
Right Field Roof Box
Fenway Park Grandstand Seats
How to Avoid Obstructed Views at Fenway
Fenway Park Bleachers
Fenway Park Standing Room Tips
Yes, it’s a lot, feel free to skip over anything, but it’s all useful.
So after this quick word from our sponsor, we’ll get started on your Fenway Park seating education!
Fenway Park Seating Chart + Layout
Fenway Park has a strange seating layout, to say the least. There are seats for wealthy and less wealthy, there are seats for corporate types and college students, there are seats that can be measured in miles from home plate and there are seats behind support poles.
The premium and party spaces are mostly on the second level of the ballpark: the Dell Technologies Club, suites, Roof Deck and Green Monster seats are more expensive than much of the lower level seating.
Your ticket will tell you the best gate to use to get to your seats. Sitting in any section, Seat 1 is always on the right. The Red Sox dugout is on the first base side.
I’m not going to bother with the amenities that come with suites and such, but we’ll gloss over the benefits of high end premium seating…
Fenway Park Seating: Dugout Box Seats
The Dugout Box field-level seats are the first few rows of field level seats, and cater to types who occupy them, offering valet parking (in itself almost worth the price), padded seats with warmers, in-seat wait service and private restrooms. The first row has TVs in front of it for replays.
Still probably not worth the insane price especially with food not included, but someone will pay it. Keep in mind that Dugout Box infield seats are significantly more than “Extended” Dugout Box, especially close to the Red Sox dugout.
Dugout Seat holders do have access to the climate controlled Ford Clubhouse on Brookline Avenue, with upscale dining and photos of Sox greats. You can order from the menu and have it delivered to your seat.
Club + Pavilion Fenway Park Seating
The members-only Dell Technologies Club seating is on the mezzanine level behind home plate; members can access the climate-controlled club featuring a high end executive chef restaurant with a wine list, hi-def TVs and three full-service bars. Or order food from their seat if they don’t feel like getting up.
There’s a load of other benefits like complimentary programs and a private entrance, but nothing terribly exciting for the high cost (as if people here need a discount on souvenirs). The club recommends reservations and has a dress code.
As with most premium Fenway Park seating, if you have to ask you probably can’t afford it. But who knows, maybe you can find a decent deal on TickPick. Try to avoid Sections 1 and 6, which lose a portion of the field to luxury suites next to them.
The padded seats of the Lansdowne Pavilion sections are located above the Dell Club seats behind home plate, and in the lower sections of the upper level. Fans at this level can walk in the upper concourse for a nifty view of the Boston skyline, not to mention shorter concession lines. Not that there’s anything wrong with the bird’s eye view of the field here, which is closer than most ballparks. There is also more leg room here than at most seats in Fenway.
Behind each section is a row of barstools with backs and a drink rail; these are well worth the price if you plan to have an adult beverage or two.
If they get tired of their cushioned seats, ticket holders at the Pavilion level can access a restaurant with a pizza counter and raw bar, and a lounge area with two full bars. (Keep in mind Boston climate.) The food here is highly rated by people who talk about such things, but for the price it should be.
Like with the EMC Club, the Pavilion club serves a brunch for afternoon games, and you can order food from your seat. Pavilion club tickets also include a parking pass (worth about $50 given the cost of Fenway parking), and they are available in “Sox Pax” like most seating areas.
Green Monster Seats at Fenway Park
In the most striking change of the early 2000s renovations, the Sox replaced the net above the Green Monster in left field with a few rows of barstools. These seats go for a premium price. Monster seats have their own concession area and are separate from the rest of the ballpark.
Truth be told, this is something you only do to say you did it…the seats at this angle would be the worst at any other ballpark. They’re very high up, and unless you are in the first row, you won’t be able to see anything hit to deep left. In a day game, the sun could also be bothersome.
The only real advantage, other than the experience, is the likelihood of a home run coming your way, and even then you should watch out for the line drive shots.
The best way to land Green Monster tickets is to pay attention to the Red Sox newsletter. The Sox place Green Monster tickets on sale incrementally, so September games might not go on sale until July. Last I checked, there was a booth in the concourse where you can enter to win Monster tickets, so there’s that.
In their newsletter the Sox announce a “Monster Mash” package in October for a Yankees game the following season; the cost includes a couple of Green Monster tickets, jerseys, memorabilia and a chance to have your photo taken with World Series trophies. You even get a scoreboard message that I’m guessing you can’t see from these seats. It’s a Red Sox Foundation benefit, but whether it’s worth the hefty price tag is up to you.
If you really want to experience this and don’t mind standing, you can find SRO Green Monster tickets at a lower price, but again, the view is definitely not great.
The Right Field (Ultimate) Roof Deck
The aptly named Ultimate Deck, previously the much more aptly named the Right Field Roof Deck, is just above the retired numbers in right field. There are picnic tables with four seats each, and a full bar and concessions area, which is covered and offers a spot to duck out of the rain or sun. There’s a drink rail with stools for that baseball with expensive drinks experience.
Each ticket includes concessions cash, but this isn’t likely worth the price for arguably the worst view in the ballpark. A Loge Box seat between the bases costs only slightly more than a Roof Deck seat minus the credit, and they are MUCH better seats; that’s not even considering the sun setting in your eyes up here.
I’m not trying to be critical here; the Deck is something you do for the baseball party if you’re into that; concessions and drinks are easier to get and it’s a fun atmosphere.
Like with Green Monster seats, the Sox put Roof Deck tickets on sale at separate times; keep an eye on the newsletter if you’re interested. You can get tickets through TickPick and other third party sellers, but if you buy two you could be sitting with two other people that you don’t know, which could be a good or bad thing.
Anyone with a game ticket is welcome to hang out at the bar (there isn’t much of a view of the game there), but not in the seating area.
The small section of seats with drink rails on the far end, over the right field bleachers, is now called the “502 Perch”…there are 14 seats, one of them painted red just like the one where Williams’ epic 1946 blast (by pre-steroid era standards) landed. This is a designated party area, but these seats are as far away as the upper bleachers and cost a bunch more.
Field and Loge Box Seats
Field Box seats with their cushions and proximity to the field are, of course, among the best in the park, but Loge Box seats are nearly as terrific and cost significantly less, especially considering that both are the kind of tickets that you’re going to need an alternate route to get. Field Box seats get a much more significant markup than Loge Box from third party sellers.
Both Field and Loge Box sections usually have 12 rows per section. Most all of the Loge Box seats are very good, and worth spending the money if you’re making the effort.
The only caveat, other than the minimal leg room that is a problem almost everywhere here, is that the first three rows (AA thru CC) are “walkway advisory” tickets, meaning that people will
be walking in the aisle in front of you during the game. Baseball limits people returning to their seats during an at-bat, so this shouldn’t be much of a problem.
Pavilion Box + Reserved Seats
Pavilion Box seats are the upper sections on either side of the premium Pavilion seating on the club level, and are considerably lower in price but still cost more than Grandstand or Bleacher seating.
They’re good seats and are closer to the action than upper levels in most ballparks, and if you’re a large person like me they offer more leg room than most seats here. But if you’d prefer to sit closer, Loge Box seats cost just a few bucks more.
Pavilion Box seats do have a roof over the upper portions, which is nice if it rains but doesn’t always offer protection from the sun. In Rows C and higher, you have a good chance of being protected from the elements.
The Pavilion Reserved seating is three sections of upper level seating beneath the Coca-Cola sign in left field. There is a nice private concessions area with picnic tables here, but it’s fairly distant from the field. It’s next to the Green Monster and higher up, so you can people watch the lottery winners there.
Behind the Coca-Cola Corner is a designated standing room spot; the Sox have turned this into an expensive group party area called the Lansdowne Pavilion, but the additional cost doesn’t make the view any better.
Right Field Box + Upper Box
The Right Field Box and Right Field Upper Box seats are numbered in two separate sections, with the lower numbers 1-8 being closer to the field and 87 to 97 being the sections behind them. “Upper Box” is kind of misleading; these are still on the field level.
The closer you get to the right field foul pole (known as “Pesky’s Pole”), the more seats face center field rather than home plate, so you will be twisting your neck throughout the game, which is an annoyance if a minor one. In addition, people will be getting up and blocking the view frequently. Sections 5 and 93 can be particularly bad, being right behind Pesky’s Pole.
But don’t let this sway you…these seats are close to the field, and you do have a cool straight ahead view of the Green Monster. These seats can be half the price of their Field Box equivalent on the left field side. Find the right spot and this can be the best bang for the buck in Fenway Park seating.
One obstructed view note here: the support pole can sometimes be in the last row of a Right Field Box section, usually Row XX. If you’re sitting next to a pole, it might make for a lot of leaning forward at the least, and it isn’t likely to be fun. Just to be sure, avoid Row XX in Right Field Upper Box seats.
Right Field Roof Box
The upper level seats down the right field line, with the new scoreboard over them, don’t have as bad a neck injury issue being higher up, and they have their own private concessions area which is nice.
These seats are still far from the action, but they’re closer to home plate than the Roof Deck and the price is significantly less, and it’s almost as close to the Brewhouse if you want a drink. These seats are in the sun as well, but at least you’re not staring straight into it.
Because the rows are steeper here, people standing in front of you is less of a problem, so no need to get a low row here…the view isn’t much different.
Behind this section is a picnic area that can be used for very expensive private parties; there are tables and barstool seats and the floor is wooden boards and easier on the feet. The Red Sox will do a BBQ here for your party, but the price isn’t worth the two complimentary parking spots.
The Right Field Roof Terrace is also a standing room space, but tickets don’t guarantee a spot, so you may have trouble finding a space with a good view. There’s also no roof here, bad on a rainy day.
Okay, so now on to tickets that the rest of us can afford…here’s the info on the cheap seats at Fenway Park.
Cheap Seats at Fenway Park, Part 1: Grandstand Seats
The Grandstand seats are under the upper deck tier surrounding most of the field. Most Grandstand seats have the advantage of being out of the sun and rain for the most part, but the fan pays the price of the dreaded obstructed view.
Besides that, most of the Grandstand seats are a scant 15” wide and wooden, the armrests are tiny, and the rows offer very little legroom. This is a common complaint about Fenway, and for big and tall folks especially a Grandstand seat can be most uncomfortable over nine innings. Might want to bring a cushion.
That said, if you can handle them and know how to avoid an obstructed view (which you will shortly), the low and not too far away Grandstand seats can be a good value for a Sox game. The only sections you should avoid are in the outfield in right field; for the space and view problems you’re better off in the bleachers for less money. Avoid Sections 2 and 3 especially, the support pole is likely to be a problem there wherever you sit, and you won’t likely be able to see the big scoreboards either.
The Outfield Grandstand seats in Sections 32-33 are down the left field line, next to the Monster, and are closer to the field. The sections face the field, so unlike in right field, you won’t have to crane your neck here. These happen to be the alcohol-free family sections, so it’s not a place if you want a brew.
Try to avoid getting a seat too high; the Red Sox have put in nifty scoreboards made to resemble the hand-operated guy in left, but the overhang blocks the view of them for upper row seat holders. The Red Sox did put TVs at the top of the support poles, so at least people can see replays. If only they had that in Babe Ruth’s day.
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How To Avoid Obstructed Views at Fenway Park
Most all of the Grandstand seats have a pole obstructing a portion of the field; here are some things to know so it doesn’t ruin your night.
The Red Sox stamp certain tickets “OV” for obstructed view, but the obstruction has to be pretty egregious before the Sox will admit to it. Avoid “OV” tickets at all costs.
Support poles are usually in the first or second row of a section, and in most cases they’re at the end of a row…either at Seat 1 or the other end, maybe Seat 16 or 24, depending on the size of the section. There are also support poles in the back of Grandstand sections, and there are sometimes two or three rows behind them. The same rule applies in most (but not all) cases, avoid Seat 1 or the last seat of a row.
Incidentally, Sections 19 and 21 are pretty safe on views, and the closer you get to home plate, the less of a problem it is.
You are most likely to have a problem in Rows 2-4 of a Grandstand section, and this is in the lower-numbered or higher-numbered seats. If you have the luxury of seeing the seat number, you should be okay in most sections with Seats 5-12. Only in the outfield do these general rules get a little wacky. In Sections 2 thru 4, seats numbered lower than 18 are usually safe.
Sometimes a support pole can be right in front of a seat in the first row, but if it is, the Sox will mark that as OV. So if you can get a first row seat numbered in the 5-10 range that doesn’t say OV, you should have a terrific view with no obstructions. For the price, that’s a great seat at Fenway.
The Grandstand is also covered by the upper level, so the highest rows lose the view of the nice new Jumbotron scoreboards. If this matters to you (it does to me), avoid anything higher than about Row 14 or so. There are 17-19 rows in most Grandstand sections.
If you want to keep it simple, just follow the 5-10 rule…meaning that in most cases, rows 5-10 and/or seats 5-10 are usually the best in the Grandstand sections. The pole will still be there, but it shouldn’t be too annoying. You’ll have to deal with crawling over people to get to your seat in the middle of a row, but that’s better than sitting behind a pole.
Cheap Seats at Fenway Park, Part 2: The Bleachers
There is a sizable amount of bleacher seats—50 rows in most sections—in the outfield at Fenway. The nice thing about the bleacher seats as opposed to many others in the price range is that you’re not likely to have your view obstructed, you won’t have to crane your neck, and your seat may be more comfortable than some of the grandstand seats.
The upper bleachers are the cheapest of Fenway Park seating, but they can be as far as 600 feet from home plate, and you will likely be under the Jumbotron and unable to see it. Try to get lower seats if you can. Once you get to be 30 or 40 rows up in the bleachers, it’s difficult to keep track of the action on the field (the crack of the bat even takes a second to hear).
I don’t know if it’s still the case, but some time ago Red Sox introduced a system where only digital tickets for the upper bleachers are sold for the high demand games. The idea was to enable families to get these tickets and keep them out of the hands of those notorious Fenway scalpers. I suppose getting into the ballpark is better than just having a souvenir.
The bleachers used to be a less than G-rated place for families, with obscene language and fights at times. But since the price has gone up significantly for tickets at Fenway, it’s not as bad now, and you should be fine bringing the wife and kids. If you’re close enough to the bullpens, the kids may be able to score some autographs.
You will definitely want to bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen for day games in the bleachers. I speak from experience.
The famous “red seat” where Ted Williams’ titanic shot landed is Section 42, Row 37, Seat 21. Good luck landing that one.
Fenway Park Standing Room Tips
I realize that it’s not technically Fenway Park seating, but…
There are seven, yes, seven different Standing Room areas at Fenway. From most to least expensive they are: Green Monster; Right Field Roof Deck; Right Field Roof Box; Right Field Roof Terrace; Coca-Cola Corner; Pavilion and General Standing Room.
There isn’t a wide disparity in price for them all, but all of them are more expensive than Upper Bleacher seats, and most of them are more expensive than outfield bleacher seats.
In 2017 the Sox added the Right Field Tavern, a full bar that takes over the space in the right field Grandstand area. It’s got drink rails, phone chargers, big TVs, and a seriously subpar view of the field. (Recall what I’ve told you about right field Grandstand seats.)
Anyone with a ticket can hang out at the Tavern, but the Sox sell drink rail spots for a cheap price. It’s a good deal if you were going basic standing room anyway, since at least you’ll have a place to sit and charge your phone. The view is bad, but it isn’t much worse than designated standing room behind the Grandstand.
Green Monster standing room is for people who can stand behind three rows of people sitting on barstools. Even more so than with the seating, this is more of an experience than a decent place to watch the game, since you’ll miss a significant portion of the outfield, even more so from behind the seats. There is a rail for your drinks, and a separate concessions and bathrooms area.
The Right Field Roof Deck is very far away from the action, but there is a bar area there with TVs even and it’s fun. On the opposite end is the Coca-Cola Corner in left field, which has a rail to lean on and place your drinks, and tables if you need to sit, but as I’ve said it’s a bit costly as places to stand go.
If you’re going standing room, your best bet is the upper level Infield Pavilion, for several reasons; there aren’t as many people there, you can sit your grub on a drink rail, and since the seats in front of you are reserved for corporate types, there’s a chance you could swipe a seat if they leave to go to an emergency board meeting. It’s higher up, but the view isn’t bad at all.
Standing room on the lower levels enables fans to watch the action from behind the Grandstand, and it’s cheaper, but there are a few impediments to your enjoyment: First, you have to stand in designated areas behind the concourse, and the killjoy Red Sox ushers spend the whole game enforcing it rather than doing something more important like looking the other way while you grab a seat. Second, you won’t be able to see scoreboards and such from this vantage point.
Pavilion standing room is worth the few extra bucks; if you go this route, the third base side has a bit better view.
Standing room is what it is, and you usually have to stake out a spot and stay there, which isn’t all that much fun. The best thing is that in most places you’ll have no problem staying out of the rain. If you try it, fork over a few extra for a prime spot, and you may be able to snatch a seat later in the game.
Whew! Had enough? Hopefully from this helpful Fenway Park seating guide you have a good idea of how to get the best seat for your hard-earned dollar at America’s oldest ballpark.
So now you need to get tickets…and my guide for saving money on Red Sox tickets should be a huge help. And don’t forget to check out all of my useful tips for getting there and what to eat in the game in this complete Fenway Park guide.
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