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PawSox, City Shift Worcester Focus on New Site

Pawtucket Red SoxWhile much attention has been lavished on Rhode Island hearings on ballpark funding, the Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League) have been quietly continuing negotiations for a new Worcester ballpark at a new site.

The new site is a triangular piece of land between Madison Street and Green Street. The city and the team had previously focused on a nearby parcel, the former Wyman-Gordon complex. The new five-acre piece of land is also controlled by Wyman-Gordon From the Worcester Telegram:

While there has been little public discussion here about the PawSox’s possible move to Worcester, in contrast to the raucous debate in Rhode Island, the city and team are engaged in regular conversations. One Pawtucket source requesting anonymity said, “We continue a dialogue with Worcester officials and have identified that triangle to the northeast of Madison Street and adjacent to the Canal District as a focal point of that discussion.”

Putting a stadium next to the existing businesses in the Canal District would fit with the blueprint PawSox owner Larry Lucchino has used in building two major league parks: Camden Yards in Baltimore and Petco Park in San Diego. Both stadiums have been shoehorned into downtowns like an SUV squeezing into a compact-car-only parking space….

Worcester sources have indicated that discussions between City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. and Mr. Lucchino, which have on occasion been held at neutral locations to avoid publicity, involve a major urban development plan that is focused on a new ballpark — which would be multi-use — and might also include projects such as a hotel.

Worcester officials are hedging their bets: while the emphasis has been on bringing in the PawSox, this new ballpark plan could also be downsized to a new ballpark for the Worcester Bravehearts (summer collegiate; Futures League), who currently play at Fitton Field on the Holy Cross campus.

The PawSox are currently looking for a new facility to replace McCoy Stadium, where their lease will expire after the 2020 season. Rhode Island politicos continue hearings on a new ballpark there and could approve bonding for a project before the end of the year.

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