Growing up in the 70s and 80s outside of Boston, the Red Sox were a nightly must see, and prominently displayed in the background was a giant red triangle - the Citgo sign.
The Citgo sign is a large, iconic sign located in Kenmore Square, a neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts. The sign is visible from Fenway Park, the home stadium of the Boston Red Sox, and has become a well-known landmark in the city.
The Citgo sign was first installed on the roof of the Citgo building in Kenmore Square in 1965. It was designed by the Boston architectural firm Kallmann McKinnell & Wood, and was intended to be a modern and eye-catching way to advertise the company's products. The sign quickly became a popular and recognizable feature of the Boston skyline, and has been a fixture in the city ever since.
The Citgo sign is a three-sided, neon-lit sign that measures approximately 40 feet tall and 100 feet wide. It is mounted on the roof of a building at the corner of Beacon Street and Brookline Avenue, and is visible from several blocks away. The sign features the Citgo logo, which is a red triangle with a blue "C" and a white "itgo" inside.
Citgo is a petroleum company based in Houston, Texas, which is a subsidiary of PDVSA, a state-owned oil company in Venezuela. Citgo is best known for its gasoline stations and branded products, which are sold throughout the United States.
Citgo has had a long and complicated relationship with the Boston Red Sox and Fenway Park. In 2005, Citgo signed a deal to become the official fuel sponsor of the Red Sox and Fenway Park. As part of the deal, Citgo was granted the rights to use the Red Sox and Fenway Park logos and branding in its marketing materials.
However, the relationship between Citgo and the Red Sox has not always been smooth. In 2006, the Red Sox announced that they were considering ending their sponsorship deal with Citgo due to concerns over the human rights record of the Venezuelan government, which owns Citgo. The Red Sox ultimately decided to continue the sponsorship, but the controversy raised questions about the team's association with Citgo.
The relationship between Citgo and the Red Sox received renewed attention in 2019, when the Red Sox announced that they were ending their sponsorship deal with Citgo. The team cited the ongoing political crisis in Venezuela and the economic sanctions placed on the country by the United States as reasons for the termination of the sponsorship.
Despite the controversy and the end of the sponsorship deal, Citgo remains closely associated with the Red Sox and Fenway Park in the minds of many fans. The company's logo is prominently displayed on the facade of Fenway Park, and the Citgo sign in Kenmore Square has become a well-known symbol of the team and the city. The sign is often depicted in photographs and artwork of Fenway Park and the Red Sox, and is a popular spot for tourists and fans to take pictures.
Despite its cultural significance, the Citgo sign has not been officially designated as a historical landmark. It is not listed on the National Register of Historic Places or the Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System, and is not protected by any local or state preservation laws.
However, the Citgo sign has a strong following among Boston residents and tourists, and many people consider it to be a historical and iconic part of the city. In recent years, there have been efforts to preserve the sign and ensure its continued existence. In 2013, a group of local residents and business owners launched a campaign to raise funds to repair and restore the sign, and the effort was successful in raising enough money to complete the necessary repairs.