The Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League) are sorting through their options for a new ballpark, and the city’s mayor hopes to see a decision during the upcoming season.
In their search for a ballpark that will be viable over the long run, the PawSox and local officials have already studied the possibility of constructing a new or renovated facility on the McCoy Stadium site. A study conducted by Pendulum, and released in January, expressed doubt that the location could support a modern Triple-A ballpark and adjacent development, and it estimated that it would take $68 million to renovate McCoy Stadium and $78 million to build a new venue.
The PawSox could, however, pursue a new ballpark at another location in Pawtucket. The team has been reported to be looking at a few different properties, including the site of an Apex building in the city’s downtown area.
During a recent interview with the television station WPRI, Pawtucket mayor Don Grebien expressed his desire to see a decision regarding the ballpark made during the 2017 season. While the PawSox still have numerous details to resolve in their ballpark pursuit, a club official found the mayor’s timeline realistic. More from The Boston Globe:
The PawSox, meanwhile, have been considering putting a new stadium at other Pawtucket sites, and Grebien said doing so was probably the most cost-effective option. Among the possible locations: the Apex Companies building, a pyramid-shaped structure visible from I-95, which Grebien said in Sunday’s interview was probably the frontrunner. Another site near the Seekonk River is also under consideration, he said.
PawSox general manager Dan Rea said in an interview Monday that the team has not yet determined a potential price tag for a stadium at a new site. He said Grebien’s timeline of a decision this season was “fair and realistic.”
Grebien said the project’s funding sources may also help determine where a stadium will go. There is a “stigma” in Rhode Island around government funding for private enterprise, he said, after the failure of another Red Sox-related state investment: Curt Schilling’s former video game company, 38 Studios, which went bankrupt after receiving millions from the state.
“We want to make sure it’s a fair partnership with the state, the city, and the PawSox,” Grebien said.
The PawSox have been looking for a few years to find a long-term solution for their home ballpark, as McCoy Stadium opened in 1942 and received its last major renovation before the 1999 season.
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