Should the Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League) pursue a new or renovated stadium, team chairman Larry Lucchino‘s leadership will go a long way, according to Janet Marie Smith.
Smith has a background that makes her extremely credible within baseball circles. Currently working on as the senior vice president planning and development for the Los Angeles Dodgers, she has also been involved in several other projects, including the construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards,and the modernization of Fenway Park. Perhaps most importantly as it concerns Pawtucket, Smith is familiar with Lucchino, having worked with him in both Baltimore and Boston.
The PawSox are in the midst of a well-document ballpark search. After a move to Providence fell through last year, they have spent the last few months focusing on the possibility of a renovation to McCoy Stadium. Regardless of which path the team ultimately pursues, Smith believes Lucchino’s leadership will be key. More from The Call:
With a comprehensive study of McCoy Stadium forthcoming – to date a firm has yet to be named – might Lucchino be inclined to seek Smith’s counsel once again?
“I’ve got a full plate out in Los Angeles but it’s exciting to see what the possibilities are here,” said Smith, who was at McCoy Stadium Wednesday night in conjunction with the final PawSox Women & Baseball Wednesday of the season. “Certainly you couldn’t ask for a better leader than Larry Lucchino. The work he’s done, particularly with (Florida’s JetBlue Park, where the Red Sox conduct spring training) is evidence that he gets a 10,000-seat ballpark and what it can do.”
The PawSox are working with the City of Pawtucket and the State of Rhode Island on a study regarding the feasibility of McCoy Stadium renovation. It is believed that the study would be returned later this year, though the team has some time to make a decision, as its current lease at McCoy Stadium does not expire until after the 2020 season.