One of America's oldest stadiums is adapting to the coronavirus. In recent days, the Boston Red Sox converted several areas of Fenway Park to support a safe opening of summer camp and allow for social distancing among the players as Major League Baseball continues to ramp up to attempting a start to the 2020 season.
Among the changes is the conversion of Fenway's luxury suites into locker room space, with each room accommodating two players. Due to the ballpark's opening in 1912, Fenway Park's locker rooms remain among the smallest in all of professional sports, an environment that would be physically impossible for athletes to safely social distance.
Additionally, the team converted the right-field concourse, an area that's typically filled with fans waiting for concessions, into an expanded gym and training area, including the installation of an open-air batting cage, turf on top of the existing concrete floor and a pitching mound 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," according to a Red Sox news release.
The Red Sox also will be using Boston College's Harrington Athletic Village and McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, home of their Triple-A affiliate, as alternate training sites.
Boston isn't the only team converting space typically reserved for fans into a usable workout facility. The Houston Astros are currently converting Minute Maid Park into a summer camp facility as well.
"I'm using every inch of Minute Maid," Astros bench coach Joe Espada told the Houston Chronicle. "The storm is definitely not over. Now it's time to make a schedule where you can space guys out, maximize the space we have, be efficient with the time we spend on the field, so that creates a lot of challenges. But I think we're in a good spot."