The Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League) are working with Rhode Island leaders to see what the state’s involvement could be in a new ballpark.
As they continue to secure for a ballpark that they can call for the long term, the PawSox are examining their various funding and site options. Presented with the opportunity to keep the franchise in the state, Rhode Island officials may look into what resources are available to assist the team’s effort.
Rhode Island senate president Dominick Ruggerio confirmed that discussions with the PawSox are taking place. While it will take time to sort out the state’s exact role in the process, Ruggerio is hopeful that an agreement can be reached to keep the team in Rhode Island. More from The Providence Journal:
PawSox officials “informed us they have been working with the [Rhode Island Commerce Corporation] and they are looking to get some kind of resolution,” Ruggerio told reporters after the Senate session. “I am hoping they [the PawSox] stay in Rhode Island. That has always been my objective and I hope they stay in Pawtucket because I think it is a great location in close proximity to Massachusetts, where half their fanbase is located.”
Ruggerio said Lucchino did not present him with a specific request for state funds or identify a stadium site. He said those specifics are being negotiated with representatives of Gov. Gina Raimondo’s administration.
Ruggerio said it’s unclear if an agreement, likely involving state incentives, can be worked out between the administration and PawSox before the end of this year’s legislative session.
But if a deal is reached after the end of the session, which is typically in June, Ruggerio said he would be willing to call a special session to pass legislation.
“It depends how quickly the administration moves on this,” Ruggerio said. “I certainly would not be adverse to coming back here at a later date if it doesn’t happen before the session ends. I think it is that important. It is a big revenue generator for the state.”
Discussions have been focused on a new ballpark in Pawtucket, but the team has not committed to a site. The PawSox currently play at McCoy Stadium, which originally opened in 1942 and received its last major renovation in 1999. A study by Pendulum that was released in January expressed doubt that the McCoy Stadium site was a financially viable option for a new or renovated ballpark.
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