Construction of Polar Park, the new home of the Worcester Red Sox (Class AAA; International League) set to open in 2021, has been shut down until May 4 due to a state halt on nonessential construction based on coronavirus concerns.
Construction was shut down yesterday, with workers onsite today and tomorrow to secure the property.
Polar Park is slated to open in 2021 as home of the relocating Pawtucket Red Sox, set to play one last season in McCoy Stadium. The PawSox season is now on hold, as professional baseball waits for a safe time to launch the 2020 campaign.
The May 4 date is based on when the length of a shutdown order issued by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. The impact of a month delay on construction is yet to be determined: a meeting of team officials, construction planners and architects is now scheduled for Friday, but the anticipation is that a month delay won’t kill the plan to open in 2021, per the Worcester Telegram:
[City Manager Edward] Augustus said most of that work is still in the design phase, so it would not be affected by the governor’s tightened construction regulations.
“Polar Park is phenomenally important to the city of Worcester,” Augustus said. But right now, he said, public health and public safety in the wake of COVID-19 are bigger priorities.
The team released a statement saying that it agreed a temporary halt gives the community the best opportunity to permanently contain COVID-19.
“We want nothing more than for Polar Park to be a point of pride for the people of Worcester and the Commonwealth,” the team stated, “including the many local skilled construction workers who are putting their heart and soul into this ballpark.”
Image courtesy Polar Park.
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