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House skeptical of Fenway financing plan

By Associated Press, 05/24/00

BOSTON - Gov. Paul Cellucci on Wednesday said he would be willing to split revenues from two proposed Fenway Park garages with the Red Sox and the city of Boston, even as the team signaled the parking revenues were not a deal-breaker.

Cellucci made his comments as the Massachusetts House met in a closed-door caucus to discuss the Red Sox' $627 million plan for a new Fenway Park. The plan calls for the state to contribute $135 million and the city of Boston to kick in $140 million.

"They're skeptical. They want to see more. They want to hear more,'' House Speaker Thomas Finneran said after the caucus. "We're not into giveaways, corporate or otherwise.''

Under the plan proposed by the team, the state would spend $82 million to build two new parking garages. If the state funds 100 percent of the construction costs, it should receive 100 percent of the revenues from the garages, Finneran said.

The Red Sox are open to Finneran's proposal, according to team spokeswoman Kathryn St. John.

"If the speaker and the governor and the Senate president want to go that way, we'll be comfortable with whatever way they want,'' she said.

Cellucci said he would be willing to split the revenues three ways if it helps the team.

"People love the Red Sox. We want them to survive here. We want them to thrive here,'' he said.

Opponents of the team's financing plan applauded Finneran.

"I think our views are shared by a major chunk of the House,'' said Rob Sargent of the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group. "Once this proposal ... is scrutinized it will force (the Red Sox) to go back to the drawing board and come up with a plan that doesn't soak the taxpayers.''

 

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