BOSTON (CBS) — Baseball is back at Fenway Park, but the old ball yard is a lot different than the one everyone is used to.
Players were back on the field Friday, as the team began “summer camp” ahead of the 2020 restart. But things were much, much different, as the organization announced several physical changes to the park and new operating protocols that support the safe operation of camp during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Suites Converted to Red Sox Locker Rooms: To best adhere to the MLB guidelines promoting proper physical distancing, suites in Right Field have been converted to accommodate locker room space for two Red Sox players per suite. Spaces within the existing Red Sox clubhouse will be re-assigned and adjusted to provide players and staff with facilities that are in line with MLB’s health and safety guidelines.
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Concourse Conversion: The Right Field Concourse, typically a concession area and walkway for fans, has been transformed into an expanded training and conditioning area that includes the installation of a new open-air batting cage. Located in close proximity to the existing Red Sox Clubhouse, the auxiliary space includes artificial turf with equipment like bikes and weights lining the walls. A covered pitcher’s mound has also been installed in a portion of the Big Concourse located under the Bleachers. In addition to the significant expanded space afforded in the concourses, enhanced air circulation is also a benefit of the covered but not fully enclosed areas.
Alternate Summer Camp Sites: In addition to activities at Fenway Park, the Club will utilize Boston College’s Harrington Athletic Village and McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket as alternate training sites. Workouts will begin at Boston College over the weekend and in Pawtucket later in camp.
COVID-19 Testing: Screening and testing of all Red Sox players, coaches, and staff has taken place throughout the week in advance of the start of Major League Baseball’s Summer Camp. Regular asymptomatic testing of players and staff will continue throughout camp and the regular season. The Red Sox have worked closely with medical experts and MLB on the planning and execution of a comprehensive and stringent set of health and safety protocols. All Red Sox testing is being facilitated by MLB through a separate testing facility the league has established to avoid competing with public testing needs.