Kansas City’s Pendulum will perform an evaluation of McCoy Stadium, home of the Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League), as the future of the 74-year-old ballpark and the surrounding area will be in for closer scrutiny.
The future of McCoy Stadium has been in some doubt since PawSox Chairman Larry Lucchino pitched a new Providence ballpark to the city and the state of Rhode Island. That effort failed, leading Lucchino and crew to regroup and put McCoy Stadium back on the table as a future option for the team. In the past a study indicated fixing up McCoy Stadium would cost $65 million, and that wasn’t all related to upgrades of the fan experience — it also covered basic infrastructure work like fixing leaky roofs. The new study, which will be paid for by the team, the state and the city equally, will provide another look at the ballpark’s future.
And the end result of this study could very well indicate that money spent on McCoy Stadium would be wasted — but the $105,000 study would at least provide political ammunition should the state throw its weight behind a new ballpark elsewhere in the state. From the Providence Journal:
As he has done before, Lucchino insisted Monday that it’s premature to say whether it’s feasible for the team to stay at McCoy beyond the terms of its lease, through the baseball season of 2020. McCoy needs a lot of work, he said, including fixing leaky roofs and eroded pipes in the kitchen and adding “certain amenities so that a ballpark appeals more to its fan base these days than it might have 75 years ago.” He has no “preconceived notions,” Lucchino said….
[Rhode Island Department of Administration Director Michael] DiBiase added: “The Pawtucket Red Sox are an important business, important player. We want them to be successful … We want to be partners in this process and help make them successful.”
The city owns the stadium and leases it to the state, which subleases to the team — that’s why all three are determining its future.
Also to be considered: development in the surrounding area, which is largely an industrial area consisting of 22 city-owned acres, 40 privately owned acres and nearly 10 acres of pavement. Developing this land may be a huge challenge, mostly because Lucchino and crew seem to be totally uninterested in being involved in any development efforts. In cities where ballpark development works — Durham, Fort Wayne — team ownership has been involved with the development efforts.
Pendulum Studio, led by Jonathan O’Neil Cole, beat out Populous and Generator Studio for the consulting gig. It’s been a big year for Pendulum Studio: its portfolio includes Jimmy John’s Field, Dunkin’ Donuts Park, and the Detroit Police Athletic League facility on the old Tiger Stadium site opening in 2017.
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