Worcester, MA officials voted on Tuesday to pass a resolution to support efforts to land the Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League), a vote that comes as the team considers its ballpark options.
The vote on Tuesday concerned a resolution in support of bringing the team to the city. Worcester will still have plenty of work to do if it is to attract the PawSox, but Worcester mayor Joseph Petty was a proponent of a resolution that, as explained here last week, would direct the city manager to make the effort a priority.
The Worcester City Council voted on that resolution on Tuesday, and passed it by a wide 8-1 margin. More from The Telegram:
By passing the resolution, spearheaded by Mayor Joseph M. Petty, the council showed that it supports “in principle” those city efforts, including building a stadium to accommodate the team.
It also called on City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. to do “all that is reasonably in his power” to facilitate bringing the top Boston Red Sox minor league team here.
The vote was 8-1, with Councilor-at-Large Konstantina B. Lukes casting the lone dissenting vote. District 5 Councilor Gary Rosen and Councilor-at-Large Kathleen M. Toomey were not present.
What happens to the PawSox going forward remains uncertain. There is a proposal on the table in Pawtucket, where a new ballpark has been pitched for the site of an Apex department store. The funding model for that proposal calls on the team to pay $45 million ($12 million upfront, the rest paybacks on money borrowed by the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency), Rhode Island to pay $23 million (with Pawtucket committed to paying the money back), and the city to pay $15 million.
It remains to be seen, however, whether the PawSox will find support for the plan in Pawtucket, something that team chairman Larry Lucchino explained in an interview with WEEI on Tuesday. Mass Live has more on his comments:
“Things are colorful. We’re in the midst of Rhode Island politics which is always a challenge,” he said. “We are waiting to see if there will be a fall session of the legislature, at which time they would pass enabling legislation to allow Pawtucket to build a ballpark.”
Lucchino remained noncommittal when asked if the team intends to stay in Rhode Island, while noting he is proud of the PawSox’ long history in and connections with Pawtucket.
“To be honest, it’s an open question,” Lucchino said. “We have to see what the legislature does.”
The PawSox currently play at McCoy Stadium, where they have a lease through the 2020 season.
RELATED STORIES: Worcester Mayor: Let’s Make Play for PawSox; Janet Marie Smith to Assist PawSox in Ballpark Search; PawSox Front Office Meets With Worcester Officials; Worcester Bravehearts Weigh In on PawSox Reports; PawSox to Field Ballpark Pitches from Other Cities; Worcester Could Make a Run at PawSox; New PawSox Ballpark Bill Emerges in Rhode Island Senate; Could Pawtucket Lose PawSox?