MGM Music Hall suits Fenway

THE BEANTOWN WAY: Chris Stapleton performed on September 1 at the new MGM Music Hall at Fenway Park in Boston. (Getty Images)

Boston promoter Don Law’s newest venture

MGM Music Hall at Fenway cut its ribbon on August 22, kicking off a series of major music events supported by the Boston Red Sox and concert behemoth Live Nation.

The new 5,000-capacity venue is located in a parking lot at the corner of Lansdowne and Ipswitch streets directly behind Fenway Park, the historic home of the Sox.

Red Sox President Tom Werner’s Fenway Sports Group Real Estate initiated the project, while Fenway Music Company and Live Nation — led by legendary Boston promoter Don Law — will operate the 91,500-square-foot venue. The installation includes four levels, with the furthest just 110 feet from the stage.

There are 2,000 fixed seats, with removable floor seating for general admission, coat check on all levels and 10 bars. The venue debuted with James Taylor on August 29-30. Three nights of Bruno Mars on September 7, 9 and 11 marked the official launch. Upcoming acts include Porcupine Tree, Rosalia, Roxy Music, Lil Nas X and Lamb of God.

More than 65 acts have been booked until the end of 2022.

THE BOSTON LAW: Live Nation’s Don Law speaks at the grand opening of MGM Music Hall in late August. (Courtesy space)

Law, president of Live Nation Boston, said the success of the 2,500-capacity House of Blues Boston made it clear the market needed a bigger venue.

“The size, flexibility and thoughtful design serve as a compelling choice for artists of all sizes looking to play the market,” he said. “A room of this size fits in well with our other spaces in the market.” This list includes the 450-seat Brighton Music Hall, the 900-seat Paradise Rock Club, the 2,700-seat Orpheum Theater and the 5,000-seat Leader Bank Pavilion.

Site design and construction was completed by Gilbane, Inc. (general contractor), DAIQ (architect) and Jones Lang LaSalle (project management). The outdoor terrace offers views of the downtown Boston skyline. Solar energy increases the sustainability of the space.

Over 2.7 million pounds of steel were used to construct the building, and 80,000 masonry unit blocks make up the site’s walls. About 8,500 cubic meters of concrete were poured and 600 tons of reinforcing bars were used during the construction process.

“Fenway Sports Group owner John Henry had a strong vision for the venue’s aesthetic and how it would fit in with historic Fenway Park,” Law said. “He took us out on a winter’s day in the early design stages and pointed out all the design elements of the stadium that would need to be incorporated.”

With acts like Bruno Mars, Chris Stapleton and Roxy Music routinely playing bigger venues, Law says his strategy doesn’t necessarily involve underplays.

“It was very important for us to launch a dedicated venue with world-class entertainers,” he said. “Several large events have arrived expressing interest in the venue yearning for a more intimate setting. It makes sense for them to play multiple dates at a venue like this rather than one show at a bigger venue.”

Founding partners are MGM Resorts International, which acquired naming rights following the successful launch of MGM Springfield, Avid Technologies, Boston Beer Company, Curve, Jim Beam, MassMutual and Wasabi.

MGM Music Hall at Fenway will partner with its neighbor, the Boston Arts Academy, the city’s only public high school for the visual and performing arts.

The partnership with Fenway Park culminates a two-plus-decade relationship the promoter has had with the Red Sox, producing more than 90 shows at the historic ballpark.

For Law, the MGM Music Hall at Fenway is the culmination of a concert promotion career that saw him manage the famous Boston Tea Party club in 1968.

“Boston has always punched above its weight class as a music market,” he said. “He has very progressive tastes and a real passion for live entertainment and the arts.”

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