McCoy Stadium might be out of the mix as a long-term home for the Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League), but the team seems focused on staying in its current city.
Released last month, a study from Pendulum found that renovating McCoy Stadium into a modern Triple-A ballpark was not the best course for the PawSox or the city. The report also expressed serious doubt that there would be much financial benefit to be gained from constructing a new ballpark with adjacent development at that location.
With those results in hand, the PawSox and Pawtucket now have to decide if a new ballpark is viable. The last serious push the team made for a new facility was in 2015, when Larry Luchino and James J. Skeffington pitched a proposal in downtown Providence. However, that deal eventually collapsed, and prompted some talk that the PawSox could look at their options outside of Rhode Island.
Since then, the PawSox have opted to put a greater emphasis on exploring their options within Pawtucket, where their agreement at McCoy Stadium will not expire until after the 2020 season. At an event earlier this week, team officials stressed that they will continue to work with the city and see if a new ballpark can be secured. More from The Providence Journal:
“It’s an affirmation of what we have built over these last 14 or so months,” said PawSox senior vice president and general manager Dan Rea of the mayor’s words. “To hear him say that and recognize that shows a good community partner. We like working with him, we like working with our friends in the city and at the state level, and we’re looking forward to finding a good solution with those guys.”
Rea and the PawSox have become more confident that a long-term solution can be found in Pawtucket.
“The PawSox belong in Rhode Island. Triple-A baseball belongs in Rhode Island,” said Red Sox team president Sam Kennedy at a corporate luncheon held at McCoy Stadium on Tuesday. Kennedy is also president of Fenway Sports Management, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fenway Sports Group and one of the limited partners in PawSox ownership.
“Every intention of this group is to keep this team in Rhode Island and keep it in Pawtucket, R.I. and to find a solution that works,” Rea said at Tuesday’s corporate luncheon, drawing applause from the crowd.
Shortly before the study was revealed, reports surfaced that the PawSox had been taking a preliminary look at the site of an Apex department store in downtown Pawtucket. The Journal reports that the PawSox will likely focus their site search in or around downtown Pawtucket, where a ballpark could be tied to additional development.
RELATED STORIES: Study: McCoy Stadium Site Not Feasible for PawSox; PawSox Considering Apex Site for New Ballpark; Previous Study: $65M for McCoy Stadium Upgrades; Pendulum to Determine McCoy Stadium’s Future; PawSox Still Pondering Future; Four Firms Bidding on McCoy Stadium Study; Feasability Study Set for McCoy Stadium; PawSox to Begin McCoy Stadium Study; Lucchino: All Options for Future Pawsox Ballpark on Table.