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Volume 24 No. 113


The Red Sox yesterday said that they “have reached an agreement” with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, local police, and several community groups “to begin selling mixed alcoholic beverages to fans with seats throughout Fenway Park,” according to Michael Rezendes of the BOSTON GLOBE. Red Sox officials during a hearing before the Boston Licensing Board said that they “sealed the agreement during a Monday meeting with Boston police and other city officials.” The team “agreed to limit the sale of the mixed drinks to five refreshment stands and to move one of those stands farther away from the bleacher section.” The board could approve the proposal “as early as today.” But Red Sox attorney Dennis Quilty said that the team “would still need the approval of the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, a process that could take another month.” Team officials and their reps said that there “would be no sales of straight hard liquor to fans in general seating areas, and that the alcohol content of the mixed drinks would be no greater than the alcohol content of a cup of beer.” The Red Sox also “agreed to halt the sale of mixed drinks two hours after the games begin.” The sale of hard liquor -- including on-the-rocks drinks and shots -- currently is “generally restricted to refreshment stands serving upper deck, premium seating areas” (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/7).

SHOW AND TELL: In Boston, Kerry Byrne noted Menino yesterday toured Fenway Park with Red Sox Owner John Henry and President & CEO Larry Lucchino, who got to “show off the fruits of their 10-year plan to turn the tired, dirty old Fenway they inherited a decade ago into one with a brighter look, contemporary vibe and modern amenities.” The ballpark this year includes “new seats in right field and elsewhere around the park, freshly cleaned and paved concourses inside gates B, C and D, plenty of new concessions that offer ... everything from sushi to chili dogs, and what Lucchino called ‘the cherry on top’ of the reconstruction efforts: a state-of-the-art video system highlighted by a 100-foot-wide video screen above center field.” Lucchino said that with 10 years of construction completed, the team will “spend the next year preparing to celebrate a very special anniversary” as Fenway Park turns 100 in ’12 (, 4/6).

BE OUR GUESTS: In Boston, Abraham & Cafardo note the Red Sox are “exploring the possibility” of hosting a college football game. Red Sox Exec VP & COO Sam Kennedy also said the team is "interested in hosting" college hockey games again. Fenway Park hosted the NHL Winter Classic and a series of college and high school hockey games last year, but the NHL “is unlikely to return any time soon” (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/7).

In Edmonton, John MacKinnon reports Mayor Stephen Mandel last night developed a "multi-part motion to save the downtown arena project, at least for now." The motion "places a ceiling" of C$450 on the cost of the arena, which would house the Oilers, and "caps the city's contribution to it" at C$125M. It also insists that Oilers Owner Daryl Katz "sign a 30 year location agreement and much else." The motion "had to come as a great relief ... for supports of the arena project," as there is "time and a workable framework within which a deal at least seems possible." However, that relief "may be short-lived, because the passing of the motion provides no finality on the issue" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 4/7).

PARK PLACE: In Ft. Worth, Drew Davison notes Texas Motor Speedway yesterday opened the Tailgater Monthly Pit Stop Park, which “features 76 reserved tailgating spots 36 feet deep and 15 feet wide.” It also includes “security, picnic tables, daily trash pickup and areas for horseshoe pits and beanbag toss,” as well as a “concierge service, courtesy of Brookshire's.” TMS season-ticket holders “can get spots for a reduced rate,” and non-season-ticket holders pay “a one-time $1,000 fee and a $750 charge per season” (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 4/7). TMS President Eddie Gossage said Pit Stop Park has "all the amenities you could ask for tailgating when you come to the races." Gossage: "You're only 100 yards from the gate. You got a reserve spot (with) trees and gas and restrooms, all kinds of things, white picket fence. It's the most luxurious place that you can have a tailgate at, and those are the kinds of things we have all over the grounds trying to take of our fans" ("NASCAR Now," ESPN2, 4/6).

KICKING BACK: In Chicago, Donna Vickroy noted the new Bacardi at the Park bar and restaurant inside U.S. Cellular Field’s Stadium Club is “accessible to ticketholders via a bridge from the park, and to non-ticketholders via the parking lot or 35th Street.” It offers “two-story indoor seating, as well as a shaded patio area” where fans can “sit out a rain delay or simply take a tasty break from the park without missing any of the action” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 4/7).

UP FOR DEBATE: In Minneapolis, Kaszuba & Roper report a Minnesota Senate committee yesterday “approved bills granting breweries permission to sell pints of beer on the premises" of the Univ. of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium, while also "allowing limited alcohol sales" at the facility. Minnesota state Sen. Geoff Michel argued that the “decision should be left to the school, not the Legislature.” Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton “has not indicated his position on the issue and the House, which opposed limited sales” previously, has “not yet debated the topic” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/7).