Fenway suitor sues over street concessions
An Everett businessman has followed through on his threat to sue the Boston Redevelopment Authority over the no-bid contract granting the Boston Red Sox permanent rights to close part of Yawkey Way for game-day concession sales.
Joseph P. Marchese Jr., a lawyer and former restaurant owner, contends that a license to sell food and drink on the public street beside Fenway Park should have been subject to competitive bidding. He wrote to the BRA in May offering to pay more for concession rights than the Sox were paying at the time, and threatened a lawsuit if he was not given a chance to compete against the baseball team.
The BRA did not consider Marchese’s offer, and in September sold a game-day easement to the Sox in a deal that included air rights over Lansdowne Street, where the club built part of the Green Monster seating section. The Red Sox, whose owner, John Henry, also owns the Globe, will pay $7.3 million over 10 years and nothing after that. The BRA argues that open bidding would have been virtually impossible because the Red Sox, as an abutting property owner, would have had the right to block a deal with another vendor.