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Sam Kennedy on OMF updates progress of potential name change of Yawkey Way

Ryan Hannable
August 31, 2017 - 1:42 pm

Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy joined Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Thursday to discuss all things Red Sox, including the process of changing the name of Yawkey Way. To hear the complete interview, visit the Ordway, Merloni & Fauria audio on demand page.

Kennedy said the process has begun to get the name changed, which will need to be done through the City of Boston.

“We’re working on putting together a petition to bring before the city," he said. "As John [Henry] mentioned, it’s a community petition. There’s different stakeholders — the property owners, elected officials and then you’d go before city hall and petition them to make a change. That process is underway and I think a loud message that John Henry sent on behalf of Tom Werner and our entire ownership group and all of us here in the front office is that [the] symbol that has made people uncomfortable over the years coming to Fenway. That is the last thing we want. We want everyone in Boston and New England to feel welcome at Fenway. It is our front door so it is something we’re going to pursue and we’ll see how it plays out over the next couple of weeks and months ahead.”

As part of the petition,  the Red Sox need to suggest an actual name change, which is something they are working on.

“We have discussed it, debated it because part of the petition you do have to submit a proposed name change to be considered by an independent committee that looks at it on behalf of the city," Kennedy said. "There’s all sorts of different suggestions. We haven’t settled on what we’re going to recommend. John Henry obviously made his feelings clear and everyone knows the love and admiration and respect he has for David Ortiz. There’s been all sorts of suggestions, including going back to Jersey Street, which is kind of cool from a historic standpoint. … There’s been suggestions of more generic Boston Way, or Fenway Park Drive, there’s been names thrown about.

"There are some rules too that I believe where if there are living property owners that have addresses on the street, you’re not supposed to propose a living person's name. We’ll have to be sure we understand all rules and regulations. We’ll have something on the petition and we have got a lot of suggestions from fans and we’ve been discussing it internally. That will play out over the next couple of weeks."