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Boston Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy At Bisnow’s Boston Placemaking Summit

Boston Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy

Boston’s sports fans are world-famous, but the city has evolved into a diverse destination for arts, music and culture. As Boston continues to transform, developers are seeing new opportunities to redefine entire neighborhoods. What does placemaking mean for the future of retail and entertainment in the city? Find out at Bisnow’s Boston Placemaking Summit on Aug. 28. Register here for the event.

When people think of Boston, they think of Fenway Park. For over a century, the iconic stadium has been the pride of the city, and few people understand Fenway’s significance better than Sam Kennedy. 

As president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox, as well as the chief executive of Fenway Sports Management, Kennedy is dedicated to preserving the stellar reputation of Fenway Park and its surrounding neighborhood, while also bringing new, diverse arts and entertainment experiences to the area. 

Soon, Fenway-Kenmore will be welcoming a new performing arts center that will cement its transformation into a cultural hub of Boston. Kennedy spoke with Bisnow about the upcoming venue, the Red Sox’s commitment to the neighborhood and what he will be discussing at Bisnow’s Boston Placemaking Summit on Aug. 28. 

Bisnow: Why is Bisnow’s upcoming Boston Placemaking Summit important to you and what will you be speaking about?

Kennedy: This is an interesting time for our ownership group as Fenway Sports Group sets its sights on developing its real estate holdings outside of the ballpark. At the event, I plan to talk about our partnership with Live Nation and how together we are developing a new performing arts center, located on land behind the bleachers at the corner of Lansdowne and Ipswich streets. 

This intimate, indoor performing arts space will be perfect for smaller-scale events throughout the year and offers us the opportunity to partner with local schools, colleges and other neighborhood organizations to create an epicenter for the performing arts community.

Bisnow: Can you tell us a bit more about what you do as the president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox as well as the chief executive of Fenway Sports Management? 

Kennedy: As president and CEO, I oversee the club and its operations, including oversight of the annual operating budget, personnel and most importantly our internal culture. In addition to my role at the Red Sox, I also act as chief executive of Fenway Sports Management, a sports marketing and sales agency that is a sister company to the Red Sox under the Fenway Sports Group family.  

Bisnow: How has the stadium helped define the identity of the Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood? 

Kennedy: The long-term commitment our ownership group made in 2005 to preserve, protect and enhance Fenway Park for as long as possible helped spark the revitalization of the neighborhood, taking an area predominantly filled with empty parking lots and transforming it into the vibrant business and residential community we see today. 

Red Sox games alone generate over $162M a season in visitor spending. That long-term commitment to the area signaled to developers that there would be an economic engine to help sustain a thriving environment for businesses.  

Bisnow: Outside of your work, what are you passionate about? 

Kennedy: It’s appropriate that the event is taking place at the Warrior Ice Arena because outside of baseball, I’m passionate about hockey. I’ve been a volunteer youth hockey coach for a decade and I enjoyed playing before my embarrassed kids and back pain told me to hang up the skates.  

Sam Kennedy will be speaking on the Placemaking with Entertainment and Music Venues panel at the Boston Placemaking Summit on Aug. 28. Register here for the event.