100 Years of Relevance
Fenway Park celebrates it’s 100th birthday this week, and I for one am stoked. No, not just because I’m a Red Sox fan, but because I appreciate what Fenway means to the city of Boston. At the end of the day, Fenway is still just the name of a neighborhood, but the past century has made the name into something far more powerful: a brand.
To Red Sox Nation, Fenway means a late inning comeback on a summer night. It means elbowing your way through a hundred people for a hot dog. It means sacrificing your voice just to heckle a kid in a Jeter shirt. It means paying a month’s rent for a couple of beers, but leaving happy anyways. It means baseball. It means summer. It means Boston.
100 years of baseball has turned a sleepy Boston neighborhood into a mecca of commerce. I can’t imagine the sausage vendors on Yawkee Way being in business without 40,000 hungry baseball fans passing by 82 times a summer. I can’t help but wonder if the architects envisioned the economic impact Fenway Park would have a century later. I can’t help but wonder what impact it will have a century from now. If 100 years can turn a name like Fenway into one of the most powerful brands in a city, who know’s what 100 more years can do.
So to those of you who tell me that baseball doesn’t matter: go to Yawkee Way on the day of a Sox game, and get back to me.
-Greg Hall (@gregwhall)