Walsh questions street deal for Red Sox

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Mayor Martin J. Walsh may require the Boston Red Sox to pay for the club’s longstanding use of a public street for VIP parking on game days, a move that would end decades of free use by the baseball team and void a late-term deal signed by former Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

The Sox run a valet parking service for players, staff, and friends of the team on a stretch of Van Ness Street abutting Fenway Park, and have defended the practice by asserting that gameday access to the public way was part of a 1940 agreement with the city. Yet no property records exist to support the assertion.

That deal was separate from a much larger lease the city signed with the ball club at the same time, in which the Red Sox were granted air rights over Lansdowne Street — behind the ballpark’s famed left-field wall — and permission to close a 17,000-square-foot strip of Yawkey Way for gameday concession sales for as long as the baseball team plays at Fenway.

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