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Fenway tour bad news for Sox

Several city councilors say they'll vote against stadium plan

By Associated Press, 06/10/00

BOSTON -- City councilors took a trolley tour of the proposed site of the new Fenway Park, and their impressions didn't bode well for the Red Sox.

Six of the 11 councilors who took the tour yesterday said they'd vote against the team's $627 million ballpark plan, and several others said the proposal needed major revisions.

Five opposing votes could block the project because the team's plan requires the city to seize the proposed site.

Fenway District Councilor Michael Ross, a vocal critic of the project, rented the trolley and played host to the tour. The point, he said, was to show his colleagues the impact the project would have on neighborhood residents and businesses.

"The Red Sox say that no one lives nearby, but I think the tour showed that isn't the case," he said.

The tour made an impression on councilor Maura Hennigan.

"It will be in the middle of an existing neighborhood," she said. "We should be investigating other sites where that wouldn't have to happen."

The City Council's reservations come at a time when the team needs all the support it can get. The Red Sox have been struggling to win over Mayor Thomas Menino, who wants assurances that the city would receive an adequate return on the $140 million investment it would make purchasing and clearing the land for the new ballpark.

Menino has estimated the city would carry an annual debt service of $12 million on the $140 million loan.

The Red Sox have asked for $275 million in public money to fund the project. The team is hoping to get a deal approved before the end of the Legislature's formal session in July.


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