As the team continues its pursuit of a new ballpark, the Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League) will consider pitches from other cities.
The PawSox have made a push to construct a new ballpark in Pawtucket as part of an $83 million project. Under the terms of that proposal, the ballpark would be built at the site of an Apex department store, with the team paying $45 million ($12 million upfront, the rest paybacks on money borrowed by the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency), Rhode Island paying $23 million (with Pawtucket committed to paying the money back), and the city paying $15 million.
Though new legislation recently surfaced, there are no guarantees that will move forward. It has been reported that the team’s exclusive relationship with Pawtucket ended as of July 1, at which point the club could begin considering proposals from other cities. On Wednesday, the PawSox confirmed this development. While they will continue discussions with city and state officials about a plan in Pawtucket, club officials also intend to respond to proposals from other cities. More from the AP:
PawSox officials said Wednesday that while dialogue with Pawtucket and Rhode Island will continue through the fall session, the club will now respond to other cities who seek to present proposals for potential ballpark sites.
Team officials say the move is “prudent and fair” given the uncertainty they face upon the expiration of their lease.
The Providence Journal reports that state lawmakers introduced legislation and agreed last week to consider a potential stadium deal in the fall.
As we have been reporting recently, Worcester, MA is one of the communities that could be an alternative for the PawSox if the proposal in Pawtucket does not come to fruition. Another option offers its own intrigue: it’s a Massachusetts city bordering Rhode Island. There are advantages to this location. The PawSox would still be serving the Pawtucket/Providence market while also keeping another MiLB team out of Pawtucket and Providence due to territorial rules.
The PawSox currently have a lease agreement for McCoy Stadium that expires after the 2020 season.
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