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BOSTON-The Boston Red Sox finally have a new owner–and a permanent home–as a group led by John Henry, the owner of the Florida Marlins, won the bidding war to purchase the local baseball team. The group bid $660 million, plus the assumption of debt bringing the bid up to nearly $700 million, which, according to a released statement from the team, breaks all Major League baseball records for the sale of a team.

Throughout the bidding process, which started last fall when team CEO John Harrington announced that the Jean R. Hawkey Trust would sell its 53% stake in the team, it was clear that it would be the new owners who would decide whether and where the Red Sox would build a new ballpark. While each of the seven bidders for the team had its own plans on where to locate the Sox, the John Henry group have made it clear that if they won they would renovate Fenway Park.

The Red Sox had previously rejected the idea of renovating Fenway Park and had lobbied the state to relocate the ballpark. Last year the state approved a $100-million infrastructure improvement package for the Fenway area. A number of local politicians, including city Mayor Thomas M. Menino had supported a $665 million plan to relocate Fenway Park right next to its old site but that plan has been facing difficulties as negotiations with local landowners have stalled.

Frank McCourt, who had been one of the bidders till he dropped out last week, had waged an aggressive campaign to build a new ballpark for the Sox on his swath of parking lots here in South Boston near the waterfront. Charlie Kenney, his spokesperson, tells GlobeSt.com that that plan has been abandoned. “The Henry group predicated their proposal on the renovation of Fenway,” he says. “I assume they’ll do that and we’ll go in another direction.”

In the end, the Red Sox partners sold 100% of the franchise to the Henry group, which in addition to Henry, includes Tom Werner, a TV producer, former US Senator George Mitchell, Larry Lucchino, Les Otten, Ben Cammarata, Ed Eskandarian, Arthur Nicholas, Marty Trust and the New York Times Company.

In a released statement from Harrington he says that the Henry group was selected because they have the resources to help the team and they are the highest qualified bidders. The decision still has to be approved by Major League Baseball.

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