62 The Monster Seats
Architect Janet Marie Smith hit a grand slam with this idea. Sometime between now and whenever, you’ve got to experience the Green Monster seating. For years the Green Monster was a wall and then netting above it to catch home runs. But between the ’02 and ’03 seasons the Sox plunked 270 seats atop the Green Monster.
Smith, who also designed Camden Yards in Baltimore, said at the time, “The idea for Green Monster seating has been around for years and we were thrilled to be in a position to implement this. We haven’t changed the configuration of Fenway. We haven’t changed its occupancy, but we’ve removed some of the standing room only seats. People who were standing in a congested aisle in years past will now have a place to go. We worked hard on the Green Monster seats to make sure they weren’t overpowering Fenway, that they didn’t overshadow the importance of the Green Monster, either literally or figuratively. We hope the fans feel we struck the right balance.”
Indeed they did. The idea was a stroke of brilliance. Suddenly fans were able to watch a game from the top of the Wall looking toward home plate from one of the most unique views in all of sports. Instead of being able to catch a foul ball, fans can catch a home run.
Fans who sit there certainly have a great view of those questionable homers — the ones that hit atop the wall but don’t necessarily go over. They also have a unique view of the ball bouncing off the wall and, of course, a bird’s-eye view of left fielder Manny Ramirez and his quirky behavior. But spectators better pay attention to the game while they’re up there. Balls can fly in their direction at an unbelievable speed, and someone who isn’t watching could easily get plunked.
And many a spill has shown that keeping a beer cup too close to the edge of the Wall is not a wise idea, either.