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PawSox Unveil Park at the Park Concept

Apex PawSox Site rendering

On Tuesday, the Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League) unveiled “Park at the Park,” a design concept for a proposed new ballpark. 

The PawSox are continuing to look at options for a new ballpark, and have focused their search in Pawtucket. The concept unveiled on Tuesday could give the project another layer, as the PawSox are seeking to make the facility usable on a year-round basis.

In its announcement, the team unveiled a design concept (shown above) for a ballpark at the Apex department store property that has been among the locations under consideration. The team has been working with Rhode Island and Pawtucket officials to map out a ballpark agreement, and the parties are hoping that the project can lead to future development.

As unveiled, the Park at the Park concept would allow the facility to host events on a year-round basis and make the venue usable for purposes beyond baseball. The team explained the proposal in its announcement:

The Pawtucket Red Sox today introduced design concepts that would make a new downtown ballpark at Slater Mill a public “Park at the Park” for citizens to use year-round. In addition to PawSox games, scholastic activities, and community events, the ballpark would include concerts, hockey, and access for walking, reading, and picnicking.

SUMMER CONCERTS: The ballpark could be designed to accommodate live performances under the stars by musicians and recording artists.

WINTER HOCKEY: The park could feature a skating and hockey rink during the winter for children to have ice time and for teams to use for special events.

MORNING, NOON, AND EVENING STROLLS: Citizens could take walks or go for runs on the warning track or on the concourse at select times. (The playing field itself, of course, would have to remain untouched.)

RIVERSIDE READING: With its intended proximity to Pawtucket’s Blackstone River and its Falls, citizens of all ages could sit on park benches to read or study.

PICNICS ON THE BERM: Families could enjoy picnics, overlooking the field.

LUNCHTIME ON THE MONSTER: A replica of Fenway Park would allow fans to have lunch on the Green Monster, with views of the field and downtown simultaneously.

COMMUNITY HUB: The park would serve as a community gathering place, with venues for outdoor and indoor events

THE PRIDE OF PAWTUCKET: Community members could walk around the concourse, admiring paintings from local artists, plaques about Pawtucket’s historic role in America, and baseball artifacts that are currently on display only on the Suite Level at McCoy Stadium.

THE BEST PLACE TO PLAY: Children can enjoy time after school, on weekends, or on summer days at a new “Pawtucket Playground” that would include a variety of amenities, such as a modern version of an old-fashioned summer sprinkler.

THE FUN OF FRISBEE: Enjoying a staple of so many city parks, residents and visitors can enjoy a Frisbee toss throughout the day on the berm and areas outside the grandstands.

“A beautiful, clean, safe park is a civic asset,” said PawSox Chairman Larry Lucchino, who created the San Diego Padres’ “Park at the Park” at Petco Park. “We envision this park as a community focal point and gathering place in the heart of our downtown.”

In addition to San Diego, the concept of a year-round, public park has been implemented at such minor league ballparks as the Fort Wayne TinCaps and the Columbia Fireflies.

While the concept provides some sense of what the team envisions at the ballpark, there are still some questions remaining. In an interview, PawSox executive vice president and general manager Dan Rea emphasized that key discussions about the project are still taking place. More from

Rea told NBC 10 News that conversations with Apex are ongoing, but wouldn’t elaborate on specifics. He said the organization wants to continue a public-private partnership, but how much that would cost taxpayers remains unclear.

The PawSox have been looking for a viable long-term alternative to McCoy Stadium, their current home. A study conducted by Pendulum was released in January, and expressed doubt that a new or renovated facility could generate development at the current McCoy Stadium site.

Rendering courtesy Pawtucket Red Sox. 

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