BY MOLLY LAAS
A decision on the Boston Red Sox’ application for an entertainment license for the streets around Fenway Park is expected within the next month, says Patricia Malone, the city’s director of consumer affairs and licensing.
A hearing on the team’s application was held Monday. Malone and Peter Catalano of the Fenway Action Coalition, which opposes the Sox’ proposal, say that opponents testified against the plan, which would allow the Sox to block off Yawkey Way and fill the street with live music, batting cages, and other diversions for ticket holders — including beer concessions — before home games. Residents fear this would create a " kegger zone " on the street, impeding the way of emergency vehicles. On the other side of Fenway, Van Ness Street is blocked by triple-line parking. The obstructions on both streets could make emergency evacuations of Fenway Park impossible, they say. Representatives of the Red Sox say a safety plan has been drafted, though a final version wasn’t available at the hearing.
Malone notes that compromises between the Sox and the team’s Fenway neighbors were struck at the hearing. The Red Sox had originally intended to have two stages for live entertainment on Yawkey Way, but now there will be only one. This was " a significant downgrading of their application, " says Malone.
Catalano, however, says he expects the license will be handed over at the last moment: " We’re sort of expecting that it will be rubber-stamped. " If that happens, he adds, the team should expect an appeal from the community.
Issue Date: August 15 - 22, 2002
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