Take Me Out: Red Tape Delays Broadway Show League Pre-Season

News   Take Me Out: Red Tape Delays Broadway Show League Pre-Season
The Broadway Show League, which was tentatively slated to begin its pre-season softball games April 13, has found itself more than a week later without a homefield.

New commissioner Tom Godfrey had scheduled the pre-season and May 4 opening day at the March 29 manager's meeting. Godfrey has continued to update prospective players and teams with reports on the league's official site. No word on new dates yet, but they are expected to be delayed by at least two weeks.

As Playbill.com previously first reported in January, construction is underway on the Heckscher Ballfields in New York City's Central Park, home to the softball players of the Broadway Show League in recent seasons. Work is expected to be completed by the year's end, but will certainly not be done in time for the park's prime baseball and softball season.

A Central Park Conservancy spokesperson previously told Playbill.com (Jan. 23) that the renovation to the fields in the south end of the uptown greenery (located near 63rd Street) is part of a larger project which also includes the recently completed work on the nearby Heckscher Playground.

A number of city-based leagues including the Broadway Show League will be displaced by the renovation, according to New York City Parks Department representative Nelson Fung. They are actively working on scheduling permits at Central Park's other fields at the Great Lawn and North Meadow or other parks. Permits were expected to be distributed in April.

Following a number of trips to the permits office of the New York City Parks Department, Godfrey was told the Recreations Department was actually handling field allocation. "I was told that an effort would be made to keep all our games in the Park," said Godfrey. "I asked if that meant all the games would be at the Great Lawn, or some there and some at North Meadow, and the reply was that games would have to be held at both locations." Godfrey expressed his chagrin with the delay in the process, seeing as how the league's application was filed in October of 2005. "I now am to go back Monday afternoon and see what they have for us. If they can't give us what we need, I will make an appointment with Mr. Clauden, their Commissioner." He added "I will be making some phone calls to members of the Park Conservancy, and if necessary the Mayor's Office. We may need to exert as much Star Power/Industry Heavyweight influence as we can muster."

Last season, the Beauty and the Beast team beat out three-time defending champs The Producers for the 2005 Broadway Show League softball championship, with a score of 13 to 3.

For more information on the Broadway Show League, visit www.broadwayshowleague.com.

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