BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Fenway Park’s street food vendors are relieved to be back on base after the city nearly struck out their Opening Day plans.
Boston city officials sent out an email to the park's street vendors on Friday announcing that they would not be able to sell food for the upcoming season because of Covid-19 concerns -- and that officials would revisit the guideline in June.
The news came as a surprise to vendors like "The Sausage Guy" Dave Littlefield, who has been sizzling meats outside Fenway for 27 years.
"[Fenway] is fantastic -- the vibe is always electric," he said. "But I found myself completely paralyzed in April -- I was just like 'oh my gosh.'"
Littlefield cited that because street vendors cook their meals and snacks in "outdoor kitchens" it should not be impacted by Covid-19 restrictions.
The rule also frustrated "Sausage King" Mark Gannon, who typically operates his cart outside of the park's Gate E.
"That was unacceptable," he said. " was a long year -- very difficult, we didn't work at all."
Gannon subsequently forwarded the email to Attorney Glen Hannington --- and after a conversation with the Red Sox front office and the Boston City Council --- the rule was reversed to allow the vendors to resume operations on Opening Day.
"It's like water under the bridge at this point and we're overly excited for the 2021 season," Gannon said.
The 2021 Fenway season is set to begin on April 1 at the park, where the Red Sox will face off against the Baltimore Orioles.
According to the state's current reopening guidelines, sports arenas and ball parks can operate at 12 percent of their typical capacities.
WBZ’s Matt Shearer (@MattWBZ) reports.