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Worcester Plans Polar Park Parking

Polar Park rendering July 2019

In preparing for a new ballpark for the relocating Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League) and surrounding development, Worcester, MA officials have been considering how parking will take shape in the area.

Earlier this month, ground was broken on Polar Park–the upcoming home of the PawSox franchise that is slated to open at the start of the 2021 season. The 10,000-capacity ballpark is at the center of a larger development initiative, as it is expected to anchor a redevelopment in the city’s Kelley Square/Canal District area that will include office space, hotels, apartments, and more.

When a project of this type is planned in an urban setting, concerns about parking can arise, especially with the Canal District already drawing a steady number of diners and shoppers to existing businesses. Even with the addition of a new ballpark and surrounding development, however, Worcester officials feel that there will be enough spaces in the surrounding area to support future offerings. That includes public parking that already exists within a half-mile walk of Polar Park’s site, as well as a number of parking spaces that will be created as a result of the project. More from MassLive:

“We’ve taken a strategic and proactive approach in partnership with the Canal District business community to address parking. The city has hired a parking consultant to work directly on this issue, especially with communicating to businesses that will be temporarily affected during the construction of Polar Park,” Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus Jr. said in a statement.

“We’re confident that between already existing parking facilities and those coming online with the ballpark project, that we’ll be able to meet the parking needs of the Canal District in order to maintain its character as one of the most thriving areas of our city,” Augustus continued.

One parking study indicates there are hundreds of parking spots in the district, and the city says there are more than 6,400 public parking spaces within a half-mile walk of the future ballpark.

More than 1,000 new spaces are being created in association with the ballpark project, according to the city, which cited a preliminary estimate, noting that final parking numbers are still being developed.

The PawSox will return to Pawtucket’s McCoy Stadium for 2020, before making the move to Worcester. When Polar Park does open, it will be the International League’s first new facility since the Charlotte Knights opened BB&T Ballpark in 2014.

Rendering courtesy City of Worcester. 

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