With the team’s effort to remain in Pawtucket uncertain, Worcester should be in line to make a run at the Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League).
Though new legislation was recently introduced in the Rhode Island General Assembly, there have been some questions surrounding the proposed agreement that would keep the PawSox in Pawtucket. A previous plan failed to gain support from the General Assembly, and there are no guarantees that the new bill — which calls for an $83-million project in which the PawSox would pay $45 million ($12 million upfront, the rest paybacks on money borrowed by the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency), Rhode Island would pay $23 million (with Pawtucket committed to paying the money back), and the city would pay $15 million–will move forward.
Should the PawSox’s effort to remain in Rhode Island stall, Worcester is eyed by the team as a potential landing spot, along with another Massachusetts community bordering Rhode Island. The team’s exclusive relationship with Pawtucket reportedly ended as of July 1, and it has been said that a representative of Worcester’s Canal District Alliance recently visited McCoy Stadium.
There are still several questions that will have to be answered along the way, and it will remain to be seen whether the PawSox can either get their pitch in Pawtucket on track, or develop a ballpark plan in Worcester. More from Telegram.com:
One possible site for a big-enough stadium would be the vacant Wyman-Gordon property near Kelley Square, which is why the Canal District Alliance has been active in courting the PawSox. There are no guarantees there, either, about how much the property would cost to acquire and what potential expenses there might be in developing it.
If anything were to happen in Worcester, things would have to progress pretty quickly. The PawSox’ lease at McCoy Stadium runs out after the 2020 season.
There is the perception that in announcing that they will listen to other offers the PawSox will galvanize Rhode Island officials into approving a plan to keep the team in the state, turning other interested cities into mere leverage to get a deal done down there.
“That’s not our intention here,” a PawSox source said. “It’s not the way we do business. We’re trying to find the right fit with a place where things work both for us, and for them.”
We have been reporting recently that Worcester is one of the communities that could be an alternative should a ballpark plan in Rhode Island fail to come to fruition. Worcester would offer a distinct advantage in that it is the second-largest community in Massachusetts, behind Boston.
Another option offers its own intrigue: it’s a Massachusetts city bordering Rhode Island. It would come with its own advantages, as the team would still be serving the Pawtucket/Providence market while also keeping another MiLB team out of Pawtucket and Providence due to territorial rules.
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