Next to Fenway Park, Boston’s new concert hall is ready to take the field


Just as the Red Sox feed on the energy of the crowd, “we hope the performers will feel the same,” FSG real estate general manager Jonathan Gilula said during a preview of the new venue on Thursday. , ahead of Monday’s ribbon. Chopped off.

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The new MGM Music Hall next to Fenway Park.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Located behind the right-field bleachers, the 5,000-seat auditorium occupies the former “Triangle Lot,” which for years was fenced off for mobile production trucks.

The odd shape of the lot inspired some creative thinking. As it happens, the resulting project could prove to be a pioneer in terms of concert hall design.

“Everyone loves the shape of Fenway, which comes from the surrounding streets,” said Chuck Izzo of DAIQ Architects of Somerville, who has done design work for several other baseball fields, including Dodger Stadium and PNC Park in Somerville. Pittsburgh. Likewise, he said, the MGM Music Hall is “a perfect fit. We have used all possible spaces.

The reclined seats created a geometric space which should improve the acoustics. No seat is more than 110 feet from the center of the stage. John Ahrens, senior vice president of design and construction for Live Nation, said he intended to duplicate the design at sites in other cities where possible.

Workers assemble a mural of musicians and bands in the main hall of the new MGM Music Hall next to Fenway Park.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Developing the site was a daunting task, said Don Law, president of Live Nation New England and a longtime concert promoter whose imprint has shaped Boston’s live music landscape for decades. Excitement is high among touring artists, he said.

“When they see it, they love it. The most powerful word in our business comes from the artists themselves and their staff.

The MGM Music Hall represents the latest wave in the concert business – an appetite for indoor stages for audiences larger than most theaters can accommodate, but more intimate than arenas. Law called the lack of 5,000-seat venues “a hole in most big cities”.

The view from the stage of the new MGM Music Hall.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

The trend is to go bigger than the nightclubs. In Boston, Big Night Live opened on Causeway Street with a 2,000-seat capacity in 2019, and Roadrunner, with a 3,500-seat capacity, debuted in Allston earlier this year. Law, whose company oversees the House of Blues, the longtime facility across Lansdowne Street, thinks there’s room in town for all of them.

In the 1980s he presided over the opening of Great Woods (now the Xfinity Center) in Mansfield. More recently, he developed the Harbor Lights Pavilion, now the Seaport District’s Leader Bank Pavilion.

“In each case, the market has expanded,” he said.

The new venue is four levels high, with an outdoor rooftop terrace offering skyline views. Premium ticket holders will have access to exclusive lounges and mezzanine seating.

The MGM Music Hall has a rooftop lounge.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Live Nation has entered into a long-term lease on MGM Music Hall with Fenway Sports Group. The venue will be booked by the Fenway Music Company, a new joint venture between the two entities.

Law plans to perform 150 shows a year at MGM Music Hall. There are over 60 nights of live music scheduled for the remainder of 2022, including Rosalia, Lil Nas X, the B-52s, the Roxy Music 50th Anniversary Tour, and three nights with Bruno Mars, all in September.

In addition to what it describes as industry-leading sound and lighting, the management team noted the venue’s spacious Green Room and a suite of individual locker rooms. A themed display will encourage guest performers to sign baseballs, and Law said the Green Room will also feature a vintage Led Zeppelin pinball machine — a band he first booked at the Boston Tea Party at the end. of the 1960s.

James Sullivan can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @sullivanjames.


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