Here's the law that the Garden's owners forgot until reminded by those high-school kids

The law that those three JP students dug up that everybody but longtime JP resident Michael Reiskind wanted to forget about was passed by the legislature in 1993. You can read the entire law, "An Act Furthering The Establishment Of Multipurpose Arena And Transportation Center" (in which the state also agreed to give the MBTA the land it would need for the new North Station megastation), but here's the relevant section:

SECTION 7. In consideration of the property interests and easements authorized to be transferred by this act, the new Boston Garden Corporation shall administer, produce, promote and sponsor no less than three charitable events per year at the New Boston Garden while the new Boston Garden is in operation which events shall be in consultation with the metropolitan district commission, and shall pay the net proceeds, after the deduction of expenses of said events, which expenses shall not include any rental payment for the use of the new Boston Garden, to said metropolitan district commission.

Said proceeds shall be used for the construction, renovation, modernization and rehabilitation of facilities and land of the metropolitan district commission; provided, however, that said proceeds shall not provide for compensation of employees, including independent contractors and consultants other than those deemed necessary to meet the purposes of this section; provided, further, that said proceeds shall not be used for any purpose other than described herein.

H/t John Keith for rummaging around the state archives.



Free tagging: 


Tip of the iceberg

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Next stop someone should investigate how Boston Garden Management fleeced the MBTA and taxpayers out of the North Station Parking Garage and lobby.

This is very common. When

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This is very common. When the Menino/Walsh administrations shove some type of development down the community throats, they claim in the announcement there is some kind of community benefit. There is never any follow up and we never see that benefit. Someone should check up on all the projects and community agreements for the last 20 years and find them.

Not exactly the case

Tom Menino was in office 1993-2014

This legislation authorizing all the public inputs to the arena was also in 1993. Menino was not yet Mayor, but he was President of the City Council, and was Mayor during the construction phase - 1993-5.

In other words, he wasn't exactly out of the picture by any stretch.

For those of you not from Boston

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Yes, agreements between developers and the City were sketch even before the ascension of St. Thomas of Readville. For example, the next time you try to visit the Hancock Observatory, ponder why that agreement, reached in the White era, is not being honored. The difference between the two is one was enshrined in legislation (thanks to Senator Bulger)

Not honored

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Because no one has got around to suing the state / city / private entities yet.

We have a city full of lawyers from great public and private institutions. Since it has to do with the public, anyone would probably have standing to bring it forth and force the state / city to do something about it.

Anyone want to get their name out there? Here's the chance!

Misinformation from the Near North

The law and the disagreement was a state issue not a city issue. Please stop dragging Tom of Readville through the mud.

The charge to get concessions from Delaware North was led by the heads of the heads of the General Court at the time; Billy Bulger from the Senate (South Boston) and Tom Finneran (Dorchester) from the House.

The power was with the State at the time with the Big Dig money starting to come in and the City being laid flat trying to get the early 90's drug murder frenzy under control. That was more important than a hockey arena for two teams ridiculously spinning their wheels at the time.

Boston was in a political transition at the time with Ray holding the Pope's umbrella and Menino just getting his feet wet.


How is it Boston's fault that state legislation requiring money to be administered by the state on state properties was not sought by the state (much less collected)? Certainly the city would have gotten some indirect benefits, but it had no power to enforce the law (and wouldn't get a penny of the money).

State Versus City

I'm sorry, but if you really think that anything gets done in the Commonwealth regarding Boston without the involvement of the Mayor and City Council, well, I've got a nice bridge over the Charles to sell ya ... goes right from the North End to Charlestown. Such a deal!

Massachusetts is not like most states in that cities and towns have enormous power relative to other levels of governance. I'm amazed that you don't know that - but you seem to spend all your time in Maine and Florida when not on the Irish Riviera, so perhaps I shouldn't be.

Give Up

I have spent 9 days of my life in Florida. You are grasping at more straws than a kid in his first day as stockboy at McDonalds.

You must have gotten my sunshine state travelogue from the same person who informed you on the political machinations of the development of the Garden. Just stop trying to one up, you are not good at it.

With two big exceptions

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Liquor licenses and Public Transit. The former where the city has little input but begging and the later where the state manages regional transit (ie ignores it altogether while shipping tax revenue off to old Mill towns).

You silly suburbanite

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Much like your town, Boston is a creature of the Commonwealth, subject to the whims of residents out to the New York border. Do you think the mayor and city council really wanted to get rid of Evacuation and Bunker Hill Days? That was the rest of you guys dictating how we run things.

Your bias might be showing

From the original article it seems that this was an act of the state legislature. If that's the case then your use of it as an attempted cudgel against Menino/Walsh seems quite misplaced.

Promises of public

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Promises of public accommodations and benefits?

You mean, like... restoring Green Line to Arborway and having a rapid transit presence on Washington St?

Found the loophole!

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Found the loophole!

There ain't no Metropolitan District Commission no more!

Doesn't work that way

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The law applies to the successor entity, too. Just ask state Rep. Angelo Scaccia, who discovered an equally obscure law that also referred to the MDC to block construction of a dog park at an abandoned, needle-infested facility in Stony Brook Reservation.

Scaccia wants...

... the park to be returned to its original purpose (which is one he feels strongly about). Really it isn't just about blocking a dog park in the abstract.

Scaccia seems unaware of the ADA

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Which pretty much cancels out the reason for the facility in the first place (it was originally built for kids with disabilities; but now the ADA requires all playgrounds and facilities to cater to such kids).

If he has done anything over the past decade or so to actually return the Thompson Center to some useful function, he's done a good job of hiding it.


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If he has done anything over the past decade or so, he's done a good job of hiding it.

It sounds like The Lost

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It sounds like The Lost Episode of Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman

Hey, kids!

Hey, Ruff!

Your assignment today is for all six of you to go to Causeway Street and help my friend Mr Jacobs put on a charity event or else the state can take his arena away from him. See you back here in 20 minutes!

Observation floor

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Tito needs to get Hancock to reopen the observation deck.


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It's not even the Hancock Building anymore. Are they still even occupying parts of the building? In any event, the observation deck is probably not under Hancock's control anymore.

Define "charitable events"

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What constitutes a charitable event in this case? A sold out concert or a small get together in the Boards and Blades club? Knowing the miserly Jeremy Jacobs and the legacy of mismanagement at the MDC/DCR, there's a lot of wiggle room in the wording of the law. While we're at it, don't forget the $671 a month DCR lease for Sullivan's at Castle Island, negotiated in 1986 at the height of power for Dukakis and Bulger.

This is also another epic Boston media fail, when three young kids have to do the enterprise reporting that the Boston print and electronic media refuse to do. Of course Menino and Walsh are greatly responsible. Walsh was a State Representative from 1997-2014 with many MDC/DCR facilities in his Dorchester neighborhood and Menino was Mayor from 1993-2014. They had an obligation to ensure the best recreational facilities in the city, regardless of state or city ownership. Jacobs is worth $4.5 billion. A lawsuit is in order for the 72 events that apparently never happened. $72 million is almost double the DCR budget but just lunch money for Jacobs. Even half of that would be a good start.