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Lawmakers: Red Sox owners may change, but ballpark financing plan won't

By Associated Press, 10/08/00

BOSTON -- Massachusetts lawmakers, battered by wrangling over how to pay for a new Fenway Park, say that the owners of the Boston Red Sox may change, but the financing plan for a new ballfield will not.

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 SOX OWNERSHIP

SOX UNDER YAWKEY TRUST
2090 wins, 1836 losses
6 playoff appearances
4 division titles
8 different managers
   - Jimy Williams (1997-pres.)
   - Kevin Kennedy (1995-96)
   - Butch Hobson (1992-94)
   - Joe Morgan (1988-91)
   - John McNamara (1985-87)
   - Ralph Houk (1981-84)
   - John Pesky (1980)
   - Don Zimmer (1976-80)

PAST RED SOX OWNERS
1994-2000 - Jean R. Yawkey Trust (CEO John Harrington)

1987-93 - Jean R. Yawkey Trust, Haywood Sullivan

1981-86 - Jean R. Yawkey Trust, Haywood Sullivan, Edward G. LeRoux, Jr.

1978-80 - JRY-Corp., Jean R. Yawkey, Haywood Sullivan, Edward G. LeRoux, Jr.

1933-76 - Thomas A. Yawkey
1923-33 - J.A. Rovert Quinn
1917-23 - Harry Frazee
1913-16 - Joseph Lannin
1912-13 - James McAleer
1904-11 - John I. Taylor
1903-04 - Henry J. Killilea
1901-02 - Charles Somers

   

State Sen. Mark C. Montigney (D-New Bedford), responding to Red Sox chief John L. Harrington's comment that new owners may want to tinker with the $665 million ballpark deal, said: "tell the new buyer not to hold their breath."

"Unless they see something I don't see, we gave the best deal we could," Montigney told the Boston Herald.

Harrington's announcement Friday that the Yawkey Trust will sell its 53.5 percent stake in the Red Sox raises new questions about the plan to build a new Fenway.

The ballpark plan, financed with a mix of public and private funds, is the most expensive in baseball history because of the stadium's densely packed urban location in Boston's Fenway neighborhood.

Rep. Joseph C. Sullivan (D-Braintree) said the state committed $100 million for the ball park specifically to be located in the Fenway regardless of the owner, and that the funds may not be available for another location.

"Our role was limited, it was defined and it was done in a way that recognizes the volatility of Major League Baseball," Sullivan said. "We analyzed this very closely and we thought the money we offered was right. Our plan is well defined regardless of who the owner is."

Speculation is growing as to who may seek to purchase the storied franchise. Roger Marino, founder of the high-tech firm EMC Corp. of Hopkinton, may be eyeing the team, according the Herald.

Robert Sillerman, the former executive chairman of New York-based SFX Entertainment company, may also be in the running, according to the Herald.

Some bidders may bring their own property to the table. Developer Frank McCourt, also named as a potential bidder, owns some mostly undeveloped land on the South Boston waterfront. Joseph O'Donnell, owner of concessions companies, own part of Suffolk Downs racetrack in Revere.

"That's the wild card right now," said Samuel Tyler, president of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau.

Rep. Michael J. Ruane (D-Salem), who helped craft the deal, said he "could not imagine" a change to the current plan.

"If they abandoned the site, then it would be an entirely new ballgame," he said.

 

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