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High Schoolers Reveal Sports Arena Has Bilked City Of Money, Possibly Millions

by Jeremy Repanich

July 14, 2017

Education and Technology:

Microsoft Learning Tools is software that helps improve reading skills by reducing visual crowding, highlighting words, and reading text aloud, so students can engage with words in a whole new way.

Learn more
Image from “Scooby-Doo.”

Sometimes life imitates art, and in this instance, that art is Scooby-Doo. A group of teenagers in Boston have ​conducted some expert sleuthing to uncover that the owners of TD Garden – the arena where the Celtics and Bruins play – may owe the city millions.

High school students Jonah Muniz, Mabel Gondres, and Lorrie Pearson found that the arena’s owner has ignored a provision that required the stadium to host three fundraisers per year and donate proceeds to Boston’s parks and recreational facilities, according to The Boston Globe. That agreement, struck more than two decades ago in order to close a deal between the city and the Garden’s owner, allowed construction to move forward.

Photo via Groupe Canam/Wikimedia Commons.

The three teens made the discovery as they sought funding for a rec center and hockey rink to serve their neighborhoods of Jamaica Plain and Roxbury, which are two of the poorer and underserved communities in the city. Their research into possible funding streams for the rec center led them to the Garden agreement. Once they found the provision in the construction deal, they started doing more digging, sending letters and submitting public records requests to find out whether those fundraisers had ever happened. Based on the few responses they received, the students concluded they had not.

Now, with two decades of skipped fundraisers, it’s unclear what will happen next with that ignored revenue stream. So far, the Garden hasn’t offered much beyond “We’re looking into this,” and the city and state haven’t said how they plan to move forward. Hopefully, the Garden’s owners will have to compensate the city for the missed fundraisers and make good on the promise to fund public parks going forward.

One thing is clear, though: The Garden’s ownership probably would have gotten away with this if it weren’t for these meddling kids.

Share image from “Scooby-Doo.”

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