Neighborhood activists and preservationists are targeting the Boston Red Sox’ plans to build a 5,400-seat concert hall behind Fenway Park, while removing 450 bleacher seats to make way for new seating and function space.

Fenway Sports Group submitted plans in December to redevelop a triangular parcel at the corner of Lansdowne and Ipswich streets into a performing arts facility.

The project would demolish the east portion of the Fenway Garage building to make way for the 4-story, 86,000-square-foot performing arts center, while adding a 2-story, 29,620-square- foot addition to the remaining garage for new “fan amenity areas” in Fenway Park.

Citing projections that the concert hall could gross $40.5 million at 225 events a year, Fenway Civic Association said the proposal does not contain sufficient public benefits.

“The removal of right field bleacher seats removes affordable seats from Fenway Park while enhancing overall services for banquets and other high-cost events,” the group wrote in a comment letter to the BPDA.

The project would eliminate six rows of bleachers totaling 450 seats and replace them a function hall with 150 counter and table seats. Offering “sweeping views” of the ballpark, the facility would have capacity for up to 600 people, according to a document submitted to the Boston Planning and Development Agency. The space would be used for group events before and after Fenway Park events and private functions on non-game days, Fenway Sports Group said.

Save Fenway Park, a preservation group founded in 1998 when the Red Sox owners were considering a new stadium, said the project would “significantly alter the historic fabric” of the ballpark.

“These changes are considerably more intrusive and less respectful to Fenway’s storied past than bleacher improvements undertaken to date,” Director Dan Wilson wrote.

Along with BPDA approval, the project requires review by the Boston Landmarks Commission.

The concert hall would host up to 225 events a year, effectively doubling the number of concert visitors annually, Fenway Civic Association noted. The group requested that the designs eliminate an open-air roof deck to reduce noise to the surrounding neighborhood and include sound barriers on Ipswich Street between Boylston and Lansdowne streets.

Groups Target Fenway Park Redesign

by Steve Adams time to read: 1 min