Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The magic number of the day is 500. That number, of course, represents the number of consecutive sellouts the Red Sox have had at Fenway Park as of tonight. The Sox broke the Cleveland Indians record of 455 some weeks ago.

A few facts: The streak started during the 2003 season. Over 38 million people have seen games at Fenway since then. Terry Francona has never managed a game in front of an empty seat at Fenway Park

I think there are three factors that led to the streak. First, the success of the team. The Red Sox have been in the playoffs 5 out of 6 years since the streak started, won two World Series and reached game 7 of the ALCS two other times.

Second, the Red Sox ownership has done everything possible to make Fenway Park a more pleasant place to visit. Yeah, the wooden seats in the grandstand are a nightmare for anyone over 5 foot 7, but they have done an amazing job in opening up areas in the park to make the experience of spending time there a more pleasant experience. The Big Concourse is the best example of this, but there are lots of areas of the park that have been opened up to lessen the claustrophobic feeling you could sometimes get during the Yawkey era. Oh, and the Monster Seats are still the coolest seats in baseball.

Finally, none of this would be possible without the devotion of Red Sox fans. We stuck with this team while we suffered the 86-year drought, the questionable management decisions and, for many years, outright racism of the Yawkey regime and the lack of amenities in the ballpark. The excitement and championships of the last few years are our reward for that. People are going to look back at the first decade of the 21st century as a golden era in Boston sports.

So congratulations to Red Sox Nation. It's not looking like this streak is going to end anytime soon.


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