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Commentary :: Organizing
Fenway Park is Saved!
23 Mar 2005
Today, the Boston Red Sox officially announced that historic Fenway Park will remain their home for the foreseeable future. This occasion finally puts to rest the push launched by the Sox’ previous ownership to destroy Fenway Park -- a unique national treasure that serves fans as a palace for the national pastime -- and replace it with a stale imposter based on every other new baseball stadium across the country.

If it were not for the tireless efforts of the organization Save Fenway Park!, along with many other neighborhood and community organizations and individuals, Fenway Park would not be standing today. League of Fans would like to congratulate Save Fenway Park! for their victory, and thank the organizers of the grassroots campaign for including League of Fans in their efforts.

As the novelty wears off of the modern “mallparks,” and the “honeymoon effect” for each replica gets shorter with the opening of another, Fenway Park’s popularity and revenues soar. With the current owners of the Boston Red Sox committed to the renovation and preservation of Fenway, baseball fans can look forward to a future as long and magnificent as its past. League of Fans thanks the Red Sox ownership for recognizing the importance of preserving Fenway Park.

In an attempt to convince the previous owners (who wished to take a wrecking ball to Fenway) to recognize the importance of the preservation of Fenway Park, Ralph Nader wrote to (then) Red Sox CEO John Harrington in June, 2000 that:

“There is nothing that a new stadium can provide that Fenway Park cannot. . . . If you truly believe in the extraordinary relationship between the Red Sox and the community that has made the franchise so special, then you can surely respect the virtues of historic preservation and its benefits to society. Preservation is good business and contributes much to the quality of our lives. Fenway Park is a perfect example, as it maintains a link with Boston's past and connects the citizens with the experiences of the people who came before them, in turn giving us a better understanding of our connectedness.”

“This is a no-strings-attached commitment,” team president Larry Lucchino said at today’s news conference announcing the Red Sox’ plans to remain at Fenway. Still, League of Fans is hopeful that the Red Sox owners will refrain from demands for taxpayer funds. As today’s Boston Globe editorial points out:

“A commitment to remain at Fenway Park is not grounds, however, to tap public funds. Too many policymakers got swept up in efforts by previous ownership to build a new stadium. Tens of millions of dollars in pledges were made to defray infrastructure and site acquisition costs. Thankfully, the new park was never built and the public funds were never expended. Taxpayer subsidies for sports facilities are all too common across the nation. Exaggerated claims get tossed about regarding the economic multiplier effects of new stadiums. Yet the only sure winners in the game of public funding for stadiums are the owners and the players.”

But for now, it’s celebration time for fans of the Red Sox, of baseball, of Fenway and of history. What seemed like a long-shot a few years ago is now a reality. Fenway Park is Saved!
-----

Park it here for the future
By Dan Shaughnessy
Boston Globe - March 23, 2005
http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2005/03/23/park_it/

Faithful to Fenway
Boston Globe Editorial - March 23, 2005
http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2/

Red Sox: Commitment to Fenway Park has no strings attached
Associated Press - March 23, 2005
http://redsox.bostonherald.com/redSox/view.bg?articleid=74770
-----

For more on the efforts of Save Fenway Park!, visit:
http://www.savefenwaypark.org

For more on the efforts of Ralph Nader and League of Fans to save Fenway Park and prevent a publicly-funded replacement, visit:
http://www.leagueoffans.org/bostonaction.html

------------------------- ### -------------------------

League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to increase awareness of the relationships between sports and society, identify and offer citizen action solutions to a broad range of issues in sports at all levels, and encourage the cooperative capacities that make the sports community capable of helping, rather than dominating, our society and culture.

If you would like to add yourself to League of Fans' "Alerts" email list, sign up at http://two.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/alerts.

To find out more about League of Fans, visit www.leagueoffans.org or write to info (at) leagueoffans.org.

This work is in the public domain
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