Citing anonymous sources, the Boston Globe is reporting the Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League) have decided to move the team to Worcester (MA), with an announcement set for this afternoon.
Though the specifics have not yet been revealed, it’s been widely acknowledged within the baseball community that Worcester submitted a superior ballpark financing and location plan than the PawSox received by Rhode Island state officials in a package passed in the final days of the 2018 legislative session. That plan called on the PawSox to make a $45 million contribution to the project, with the state paying $26 million and the city allocating $18 million. In addition, the team would pay $12 million after approval of the plan. However, the legislation approved by Rhode Island officials left open several uncertainties, as it withdrew state backing of the bonds and instead put it on the back of bondholders, which is likely to result in higher borrowing rates.
There is nothing final at all about the decision. The Worcester City Council must approve a financing package and address the potential issue of contamination at the ballpark site. The International League and Minor League Baseball must also approve the move and the financing package, the Red Sox must sign off, and Major League Baseball will be asked to voice any objections. There are also specifics to be determined, including the timing of the move (will Pawtucket play as a lame-duck team at McCoy Stadium or set up shop temporarily at Fitton Field, currently a college and summer-collegiate facility).
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