For Major League Baseball (MLB), 2019 marks the 116th season. It’s also the 150th anniversary since the first professional baseball team was founded in 1869. Baseball is often referred to as America’s pastime, sparking memories of playing catch with your family or friends in the background, hot dogs and Cracker Jack’s at the ballpark, and daydreaming about hitting a game-winning grand slam in the World Series.
Regardless of which team you support, going to a baseball game is a special experience. There is one thing each of the 30 MLB stadiums has in common — Shawmut Design and Construction has worked on it. Here are a few of Shawmut’s top baseball projects, from small renovations to large upgrades.
Fenway Park — Right Field Roof Deck
Original Ballpark Cost: $650,000
Fun Fact: Fenway Park is the oldest ballpark in baseball. Outside of Wrigley Field, which opened in 1914, no park comes within 50 years of being that old.
- Renovation of the right field roof deck: Shawmut has completed a total of seven projects at Fenway Park. The renovation of the right field roof deck took 19 weeks and included the addition and structural upgrade of 345 seats, and the removal and reinstallation of the famous 47,000-lb “Pesky Pole.”
Yankee Stadium — Malibu Rooftop Deck
Original Ballpark Cost: $2.3 billion
Fun Fact: When the ballpark was being built, a construction worker buried a Boston Red Sox jersey of David Ortiz — the New York Yankees’ biggest rival.
- Malibu Rooftop Deck: This was Shawmut’s first significant project with the New York Yankees. It took eight weeks, totaled 5,300 square feet, and required them to construct a deck on the existing roof.
Chase Field — Retail Stores
Original Ballpark Cost: $354 million
Fun Fact: Chase Field was the first U.S. ballpark to have a retractable roof and contains a swimming pool in right-center field.
- Chase Field Retail Stores: The 9,000-square-foot renovation took ten weeks and required a complete gut and new fit-out. Shawmut had to work around off-season events but was able to finish three new retail team stores and eight new boutique team shops in time for Opening Day.
Petco Park — Left Field Renovations
Original Ballpark Cost: $450 million
Fun Fact: On July 2, 2009, Petco Park was the site of the first baseball game ever to be delayed because of a swarm of bees.
- Left Field Renovations: Scheduled with finishing before Opening Day, Shawmut’s 16-week left field renovation project included extending the seating nine inches outwards, installing drink rails, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades to the 200 level, and rebuilding a 150-inch media wall.
Comerica Park — Renovations
Original Ballpark Cost: $300 million
Fun Fact: As an ode to the old ballpark, the flagpole in left-center field was originally in the field of play. In 2003, the team moved the fences in so the flagpole was no longer in play.
- Comerica Park Renovation: On a very short 52-day schedule, Shawmut renovated Comerica Park with 20 new concession counters, a new concourse bar with outdoor support kitchen, a scoreboard picnic area, and a new retail store.
Camden Yards — Oriole Park
Original Ballpark Cost: $110 million
Fun Fact: When it was built, Camden Yards was the first ballpark with a retro-style design. At the time, most ballparks were built to be symmetrical multi-purpose stadiums.
- Oriole Park: Tasked with demolishing and fitting-out 14 concessions with large structural sign installations and two full kitchens renovations, Shawmut completed the 8-week project in time for the Orioles’ home opener.
Bonus: MLB Instant Replay
In 2008, MLB finally implemented instant replay to review close calls on the field. To outfit ballparks with the necessary technology to review plays, Shawmut completed 26 projects concurrently while coordinating 26 separate superintendents across the country in just nine weeks.