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Red Sox Announce Fenway Park Improvements, Transition To 'Fully Cashless Environment'

BOSTON (CBS) -- Fenway Park is an ever-changing baseball cathedral, and it will have no shortage of new areas and features for the forthcoming 2022 season.

The Red Sox announced a series of updates and improvements for America's oldest ballpark Wednesday, ahead of Friday's home opener in Boston.

Chief among those changes are the additions made to the bleachers, which had been seen before but now have official names and descriptions. Behind sections 39-43 of the bleachers is a new 8,800 square foot concourse -- named The Truly Terrace -- that features standing room areas as well as barstool seating behind the last row of the bleachers. The area also features a 360-degree island bar as well as unique food and beverage options.

Also behind the bleachers is the new NESN studio, located on that terrace. The studio will be used for NESN's pregame show, which has been held on Jersey Street for years. The Red Sox also added the 521 Overlook, a 7,600 square foot event space located above the new concourse. The area can fit roughly 600 people and is available for private functions. The name comes from the number of home runs Ted Williams hit during his career, and also "the approximate distance in feet of the space relative to home plate."

The bleacher additions also bring a new video board into Fenway Park, with the new screen being twice the size of the video board that previously stood atop the bleachers.

"The new video board will have the ability to display more game information including team lineups, situational batter statistics, and batter walk-up song information," the Red Sox said.

Two new video boards have been added to the area as well, with those displaying "the line score, in-game starting pitcher stats, and reliever information when pitchers are warming up in the bullpen."

Additionally, the team announced that Fenway Park has transitioned to a fully cashless environment, with concessions stands only accepting credit cards or touchless payments with smartphones.

"This is one of our most aggressive off-season improvements," Red Sox President Sam Kennedy said. "Going cashless is an amenity to our fans because it will mean better speed of service and more accuracy."

Vendors around the ballpark will have cashless point-of-sale devices, allowing purchases to be made with credit cards or mobile devices as well. Fans with cash can load money onto a Mastercard debit card at one of several kiosks located around the ballpark.

"Anytime there's investment in such a historic park like Fenway that's great, anything to drive more traffic," Red Sox fan Zach Germama said. "I know plenty of people that don't like carrying cards or having credit cards, so I think if they want to pay cash, they should be able to."

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