A group representing the Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League), including chairman Larry Lucchino, visited Worcester last Friday to scout out what could be the future home of the franchise.
Given the makeup of the group, however, it’s hard to view the visit as just a meet and greet. Joining Lucchino: Vice Chair Mike Tamburro, EVP/GM Dan Rea, Senior VP and Club Counsel Kim Miner and Janet Marie Smith, who worked with Lucchino in Baltimore and Boston and is consulting on the team’s ballpark future. She’s now senior vice president of planning and development with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The meeting, confirmed both by Worcester Mayor Joe Petty and the team, centered on a visit to the city’s Canal District, which has been pitched by some city officials as a potential ballpark site. It’s no secret Lucchino and crew view Worcester as a potential home to the PawSox. Although the issue of state support for a new downtown Pawtucket ballpark is still alive, it’s certainly on life support.
Worcester has plenty of appeal and has been a sought-after location for Minor League Baseball owners over the last decade, but no one has been able to put together a deal. A population of 798,552 in Worcester County alone makes the MSA a desirable target. From Worcester Magazine:
The mayor declined to answer several questions, including whether, in fact, the tour included other potential locations. He also did not reveal the specifics of what was discussed during the meeting.
“It was just an introductory meeting,” he said. “It was a conversation with a team from Pawtucket Red Sox, a group of people. Hopefully, those conversations will continue.”
“It seemed pretty positive,” Petty added of the meeting, adding, “I can’t comment any further.”
With the McCoy Stadium lease expiring after the 2020 season and the PawSox ownership able to negotiate with other cities on a new ballpark, we expect more cities in the region to approach the PawSox.
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