If Rhode Island lawmakers can’t reach agreement with the Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League) on a new ballpark, owners should have an abundance of options in Massachusetts if a move is deemed the best option.
An unencumbered franchise like the PawSox — one with a lease that terminates shortly and can presumably be moved anywhere in the International League footprint — carries a lot of value. Quite simply, these team don’t hit the market too often, and presumably that was factor into the purchase price of the team. And with the power of the Red Sox behind the franchise — technically, the Red Sox don’t own the PawSox, but there’s overlap between the ownership groups — there should be any number of communities in Massachusetts willing to talk new ballpark with the PawSox owners. Officials in Worcester and Springfield have already expressed an early interest.
Reps from another Massachusetts city have thrown a hat into the ring, as councilors from New Bedford say they’re willing to talk new ballpark with the PawSox. From the Sun Chronicle:
City Councilor Steve Martins has filed a motion for the city to discuss becoming the home for the team.
Martins and fellow councilor Kerry Winterson have lined up two potential sites for a new stadium. One is right along the waterfront, similar to a proposed ballpark in Providence.
Martins and Winterson say they are willing to give the PawSox time to work on a deal with Rhode Island officials.
Now, we should be clear that PawSox owners haven’t met (at least publicly) with reps of any Massachusetts city about a move from McCoy Stadium; their focus has been on working out a deal in Providence, with talks continuing.
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