In 2010, Fenway Park was the busiest it had been in quite some time. Major events at the park started on New Years Day, when the NHL Winter Classic was played between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Boston Bruins. After a week of other skating events a college hockey doubleheader, dubbed Frozen Fenway, was played at the park. Once the rink was removed, the club's ninth year of major improvements continued. The concrete in the left-field seating bowl, which was built in 1934, was repaired and waterproofed and a new Home Plate Deck was unveiled at the top of the grandstand behind home plate. Over the summer, Fenway Park hosted a concert by the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, the first soccer game at the park in over four decades and a concert featuring two local bands, Aerosmith and J Geils Band. Though the Red Sox missed the playoffs for the first time since 2006, the team fought valiantly with a heavily injured roster. While the team was on the road on September 14, Fenway Park hosted the largest naturalization ceremony ever held. That same day, when thousands of people became America's newest citizens, the club laid out the red carpet on Fenway Park's warning track for the movie premiere of "The Town," which was partly filmed at the park in 2009. After the Red Sox season, scenes for another film, "Moneyball," were filmed in parts of the park.

The Red Sox

Record: 89-73, 3rd in American League East
Manager: Terry J. Francona
Attendance: 3,046,444

The Red Sox kicked off the 2010 season with an Opening Night game at Fenway Park against the Yankees. The pre-game ceremonies featured a fireworks show and the return of Pedro Martinez, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch. After Aerosmith's Steven Tyler sang God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch, Neil Diamond made a surprise appearance to lead the Fenway Park crowd in the ballpark's traditional 8th inning sing-along of Diamond's "Sweet Caroline."

After the excitement of Opening Night, the Red Sox suffered frequent injuries and rarely played at full strength. Jacoby Ellsbury and new addition Mike Cameron went down in the season's opening weeks but they were just the first of several losses to the team.

Injuries presented opportunities for unexpected heroes to emerge. In his first Red Sox at-bat on April 20, Darnell McDonald pinch-hit a game-tying, two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning, then beat the Rangers with a bases-loaded, walk-off base hit in the bottom of the ninth. On June 12, Daniel Nava (who was signed out of the independent leagues for just one dollar) hit a grand slam on the first pitch he saw as a big leaguer.

The injuries only mounted as the summer continued: Dustin Pedroia, Jason Varitek, Clay Buchholz and Kevin Youkilis all hit the shelf at various points. But the Red Sox fought hard and only trailed the Yankees by half a game in early July.

Still, the Red Sox never quite closed the gap with New York and Tampa Bay despite a first-rate managerial job by Terry Francona. Jon Lester finished the year with a 19-9 record and Buchholz went 17-7 and after a season-opening slump, David Ortiz finished the year with 32 home runs and 102 RBIs, tied for the team lead with third baseman Adrian Beltre, who was signed as a free agent before the season.

Renovations

Fenway Park ushered in 2010 by hosting the NHL Winter Classic on New Years Day. The ice rink remained for another week so that the park could host another major hockey event, a college doubleheader dubbed Frozen Fenway. After the college games, and a final day of public skating on January 10, the ninth offseason of major, annual improvements resumed in earnest.

In left field, where the grandstand seats had been replaced before skating events began, improvements to the left-field seating bowl continued. The concrete in the lower left-field box sections was repaired and waterproofed and new Dugout Seats, Field Box seats and Loge Box seats were installed. To help access the lower third-base seating bowl, a new staircase from the Gate A concourse to the lower third-base concourse was installed. The area also received utility upgrades and other infrastructural improvements, including the renovation of the visitors clubhouse.

The area above the home plate grandstand seats was also enhanced for the 2010 season. The new Home Plate Deck featured new and expanded concession stands and a redesigned standing room area with more room for fans at the top of the lower seating bowl. To help create the additional space, restrooms that were previously located in this area were removed and replaced with larger restrooms located on a new mezzanine level directly below.

Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

The 2010 Futures at Fenway doubleheader was cut short due to rain. The Lowell Spinners and Jamestown Jammers were only able to play six innings, while the second game was called off after torrential downpours made the playing field unplayable. Later in July, the Cape Cod League All-Star game returned to Fenway Park for the second consecutive year.

2010 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park
July 10Futures at Fenway: Jamestown Jammers 7, Lowell Spinners 2 (6 innings Due to Rain)
July 10Futures at Fenway: Potomac Nationals vs. Salem Red Sox (Cancelled Due to Rain)
July 28Cape Cod League All-Star Game: Western Division 5, Eastern Division 0*

*From 1975 to 1987, on a biennial basis, Fenway Park hosted an all-star game between the Cape Code Baseball League and the Atlantic Collegiate League. The all-star game alternated between Fenway Park and sites closer to the ACL's teams, such as Yankee Stadium and Veterans Stadium. In 1988, the Cape Cod Baseball League returned to an intra-league format for their annual all-star game and in 2009, Cape Code League All-Stars returned to Fenway Park for the Cape Cod League All-Star Game, which was played again in 2010.

More Than a Ballpark™

In the earliest days of the new calendar year, hockey took center stage at Fenway Park. In the 2010 NHL Winter Classic, the Boston Bruins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in a thrilling 2-1 overtime victory on New Year's Day. One week later, a unique collegiate double-header saw the University of New Hampshire women's hockey team defeat Northeastern University's women's team, before the Boston University and Boston College men's programs renewed their historic rivalry, with BU winning, 3-2. When the weather heated up several months later, the park remained busy with non-baseball activities. On May 23, thousands of runners took part in the Red Sox Foundation's first annual Run to Home Base. Over two million dollars was raised in support of the Mass General Hospital Home Base program, which helps military veterans affected by post-traumatic stress disorder. Later in the summer, Fenway Park hosted Football at Fenway, the first soccer match at the ballpark in over four decades, as Celtic F.C. defeated Sporting Club de Portugal in an exciting shootout victory. A pair of concerts also occurred, with the Landmark Orchestra playing in early July, before local groups Aerosmith and J Geils Band performed on August 14. Exactly one month later Fenway Park had an extremely busy day, with more than 5,000 new citizens sworn in at the ballpark's second naturalization ceremony in three years. Later that evening, the red carpet premiere for the film "The Town" took place.

2010 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park
January 1Boston Bruins 2, Philadelphia Flyers 1 (Overtime) (Hockey)
January 8University of New Hampshire 5, Northeastern University 3 (Women's Hockey)
January 8Boston University 3, Boston College 2 (Men's Hockey)
May 9Mother's Day Walk
May 23Run to Home Base
June 20Father's Day Walk
July 7Landmark Orchestra Concert
July 21Football at Fenway: Celtic F.C. 2, Sporting Lisbon 1 (Shootout) (Soccer)
August 1Picnic in the Park
August 8Comcast Latino Family Festival
August 14Aerosmith and J Geils Band Concert
September 14Naturalization Ceremony
September 14"The Town" Film Premiere
OctoberFilming of "Moneyball"
December 11Christmas at Fenway

January 1 & 8, 2010

2010 NHL Winter Classic and Frozen Fenway

On New Year's Day 2010, Fenway Park hosted the NHL Winter Classic on a rink installed on the ballparkĀ’s famed field. The game featured a matchup between the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers and with an overcast sky and a relatively comfortable temperature of 40 degrees, a raucous sellout crowd watched hockey legends and honorary team captains Bobby Orr and Bobby Clarke meet on ice before the game. The Bruins and Flyers battled through a scoreless first period before the Flyers jumped on the board a few minutes after the first intermission. Philadelphia retained its 1-0 lead deep into the third period but Boston forward and ex-Flyer Mark Recchi tied it with just over two minutes remaining in regulation time. The game entered sudden-death overtime and came to a dramatic end when the Bruins' Marco Sturm just 117 seconds into the extra period. Boston goalie Tim Thomas played brilliantly, stopping 25 of 26 Philadelphia shots. After the game Thomas returned to the rink and was announced as a member of the 2010 United States Olympic hockey team, concluding an unforgettable day for the goalie, his Bruins teammates and Boston sports fans.

One week later Fenway Park hosted two more hockey games as part of a collegiate doubleheader, dubbed Frozen Fenway. In the opener, the University of New Hampshire beat Northeastern University 5-3, winning the first outdoor game in women's college hockey history. UNH forward Kristina Lavoie scored the go-ahead goal with 5:30 left in the third period and sealed the victory with an empty-netter in the game's waning seconds. In the nightcap, the Boston College and Boston University men's teams faced off, reprising their Commonwealth Avenue rivalry. BU took an early 3-0 lead and held on, even after the Eagles cut the Terriers' advantage to a single goal. BU goalie Kieran Millan made 27 saves, leading his team to a 3-2 victory.

In addition to the exciting action of the NHL Winter Classic and Frozen Fenway, the Red Sox opened the rink before and after the New Year, renting ice time and offering public skating at the park. Numerous groups took to the Fenway Park ice, including winners of a Red Sox Foundation raffle, company outings and three prep school games: Avon Old Farms vs. Taft; Belmont Hill vs. St. Sebastian's; and Buckingham, Brown & Nichols vs. Thayer. The Red Sox also partnered with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, Frozen Fenway sponsor Sun Life Financial and the NHL to offer local residents over 3,000 tickets to stake at Fenway Park on January 3 and 10.

Fenway Park In 2010 (Credit: Mike Ivins/Boston Red Sox)