Where Everybody Knows How to Behave

Published: September 24, 2008

By Jim Lichtman
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While in Boston this week, I went to see the Red Sox clinch a spot in the playoffs last night against the Cleveland Indians.  Protecting a one run lead in the eighth and ninth inning, Jonathan Papelbon, the Sox go-to closer, closed the door on the Indians with consecutive 96-mile-an-hour fastballs.

I’ve been to Fenway on previous visits and have always had a great time with the locals and fans who actively participate in cheering the time on.  I was surprised this time by an announcement that was made at least three times during the course of the game, and they did it in a respectful and fun way. It went something like this –

“The Red Sox would like to thank you for attending and remind you to observe the Fenway Park Code of Conduct starting line-up:

  1. Avoid balls in play.
  2. Never trespass onto the field.
  3. Drink responsibly.
  4. Help keep Fenway Park clean.
  5. Watch your language.
  6. Respect all other fans.
  7. Keep cell phone conversations private, without gestures to attract attention.
  8. Sit only in your own seats.
  9. And of course, No Smoking.”

Begun in the 2005 season, the Red Sox offer fans a phone number to call Park Security for violations by anyone.

According to a press release, President/CEO Larry Lucchino said, “We should be quick to note that nearly all of our fans play by the rules, and we are grateful to them.”

Additional steps taken include raising the number of alcohol compliance supervisors.  And the Boston Police Detail assigned to Fenway Park has been assigned to patrol the busiest beer stands.

“Although beer sales were higher in 2004 than in 2003, they have declined so far in 2005, relative to the same number of games in 2004,” said Mike Dee, the Red Sox’ Chief Operating Officer. “Nonetheless, we are partnering with Aramark to make sure all of our fans comply with the rules.

“In recent years, the behavior and pleasant atmosphere has steadily improved. Fenway Park improvements and our focus on enforcement are intended to keep it going in that direction.

“Our fans, our neighbors, and the media give us useful feedback. We will continue to listen and to respond appropriately.”

Cheers to the Red Sox organization and their fans.



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