The Dave Matthews Band announced this week that they will be playing a pair of shows in Boston’s legendary Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox. It will be the band’s second trip to Fenway after they played two sold-out shows in the summer of 2006. The concerts will take place May 29 and 30 with Country music icon Willie Nelson opening for the popular jam band for both gigs.
Tickets for each of the shows can be requested through the band’s fan club Web site, the Warehouse. Reserved grandstand and reserved field tickets will carry a face value of $75, with V.I.P. packages available for $250. Fan club members can request tickets until March 11, and will be chosen at random to purchase. Those who are selected will be limited to only four tickets per person.
Dave Matthews Band is the first band to play a second set of shows at historic stadium. It will also be the earliest in the year that a concert has been scheduled; the previous earliest show was last year when The Police were center stage at Fenway in July.
Fenway Park, along with the Red Sox, was sold to New England Sports Ventures in 2002, a group of John Henry, Tom Werner and others. Fenway is currently the smallest park in Major League Baseball, and even with the team charging the highest average ticket price, their revenue totals have been dwarfed compared to their chief rival, New York Yankees. Since the Yanks announced the building of their new stadium, which will open this season and bring in hundreds of millions more to the club, the Red Sox and their owners have looked for more ways to bring in revenue, concerts being just one.
Beginning in 2003, the nearly century-old ball park has annually played home to big name performers including Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Jimmy Buffett and the Rolling Stones.
Along with scheduling annual concerts at Fenway, they have also started the Fenway Sports Group (FSG), an organization separate from the baseball club designed to build the team’s brand. Since its creation in 2004, it has proven to be a worthy investment, tapping into revenue streams from college athletics to travel. In 2007, the group bought 50 percent stake in the NASCAR team Roush Racing, creating the new Roush-Fenway Racing team.
(The image accompanying this story is by Bryan Rosengrant under Creative Commons Attribution and posted on Wikipedia.org)