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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Red Sox denied tax credit by Mass. for widening bullpen, plans on hold

1/6/11, "The Boston Red Sox [team stats] benched a controversial plan to widen the bullpen at historic Fenway Park [map] by 9 feet this offseason.

The project, aimed at improving pitcher safety during warm-ups, would have

  • shortened the distance from home plate to the right-field fence to 371 feet from 380 feet.

The plan was a hit with the Boston Landmarks Commission, which unanimously approved the team’s application in October.

But the Red Sox struck out with the Massachusetts Historical Commission, which determined the project

  • would not score a special tax break.

It is still on our radar screen,” Sox spokeswoman Susan Goodenow said in a statement yesterday. “But there is no immediate timetable for this project and, as we do on an annual basis, we will review all potential offseason projects as we get closer to the end of next season.”

  • Because Fenway is a designated landmark, the Red Sox must seek support from the city and state agencies for major alterations to the circa-1912 ballpark.

We’re pleased that the Fenway Park most fans have known most of their lives will remain intact” said Stephen Wojnar, president of

  • Save Fenway Park.

Historical Commission director Brona Simon said in a letter to the Red Sox that widening the bullpen fails to meet the eligibility criteria for

  • federal historic rehabilitation standards. As a result, she wrote, the Sox would not win tax credits.

So far, John Henry’s ownership group has received $11.1 million in credits, including

  • $300,000 in a round of awards made last year.

But the team is making a play for another $28.4 million in tax breaks on qualifying renovations

  • worth nearly $200 million."

1/6/11, "Red Sox postpone bullpen plan," Boston Herald, by Thomas Grillo, via Field of Schemes

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