Rolling Stones to play at Fenway Park

Rolling Stones to play at Fenway Park

BOSTON -- Legendary rock group, meet legendary baseball park. That is precisely what will happen on Aug. 21, when the Rolling Stones kick off their world tour by playing at Fenway Park for the first time.

This is the second time in three years a Hall of Fame music act will perform at Fenway. In the summer of 2003, Bruce Springsteen performed two shows at the historic baseball park in Boston's back bay.

Last year, Jimmy Buffett performed at Fenway.

Tickets for the Aug. 21 show will first be available on Saturday at 10 a.m. ET at all Ticketmaster outlets, at the Orpheum Theatre box office in Boston, or by calling (617/508)-931-2000 or (617) 228-6000, or via the internet at www.ticketmaster.com.

It is expected that the Stones will perform another show at Fenway Park on Aug. 23, though the second concert has yet to be formally announced.

"It maintains this tier-one level of recording acts in what's become an annual occurrence," said Dr. Charles Steinberg, executive vice president of public affairs for the Red Sox. "You take Bruce Springsteen, you take Jimmy Buffett, and you keep the momentum going with an act as big as the Rolling Stones. I think it's a thrill."

There were no such things as concerts at Fenway Park until two years ago, when the new ownership group of the Red Sox helped put the plans in motion to turn the grand baseball stage into a temporary concert venue.

But after things went so smoothly with Springsteen and Buffett, it was a no-brainer for the Sox to welcome the Stones to Fenway.

"We learned that fans are remarkably respectful and well behaved," said Steinberg. "They treat it as a special event. They are wonderful about coming early, minding their manners, being responsible and appreciating the unique opportunity that we're all being given. These recording artists are good to us by coming to play at Fenway Park, just as we feel it's an honor. I think we've learned that you want to keep the crowd manageable, and you want to make sure it's an act that keeps people together."

One intriguing dynamic is that the Stones will offer fans the opportunity to actually sit on stage. There will be several hundred seats built directly into the stadium set.

"The band is redefining the concert experience -- there is nothing even comparable to the thrill of being onstage with the Rolling Stones and seeing a stadium show from the band's perspective," said Michael Cohl, tour promoter. "For fans, this will be the greatest tour yet."

The Red Sox are honored to host the Stones, who have been performing their brilliance for four decades and counting.

"Arguably the greatest rock 'n roll band in history continues the tradition of a summer time concert at Fenway Park," said Mike Dee, chief operating officer for the Sox. "The Red Sox are thrilled to be hosting the Rolling Stones at Fenway Park. It is sure to be a tremendous hit for Stones fans of all ages."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.