WORCESTER – For the better part of three years, many residents, business leaders and city officials in Worcester have been longing to hear that the Pawtucket Red Sox would be making the second-largest city in New England their new home.
In the past few weeks, rumors have been gaining traction in both Worcester and Pawtucket regarding negotiations between the PawSox ownership group and each individual city.
To get everyone up to speed, here are four reasons why the PawSox might come to Worcester, and four reasons they will stay put in Pawtucket.
1. WHY PawSox Will Come to Worcester: A source close to City Hall officials told ThisWeekinWorcester.com specific details about a proposed deal between the City of Worcester and the PawSox back in October. According to the source, “… the City of Worcester and the Pawtucket Red Sox ownership group are working on an agreement to relocate the team to Worcester’s Canal District and construct a new baseball stadium — reportedly a $72 million project.” Full Story: City of Worcester Currently in ‘Serious Negotiations’ with PawSox
2. WHY NOT: Talks have heated up between RI and PawSox to keep them in Pawtucket as of early last week. On Rhode Island Public Radio, House Speaker Nicholas Mattielo said, “…if the PawSox want to stay in Rhode Island, we’ll work on making that happen and we’ll make a deal that is favorable to the taxpayer where a lot of the risk is shifted.” Full Story: PawSox Report Progress Toward Possible Stadium Agreement In Rhode Island
3. WHY: Paw Sox consultant Guy Dufault said that Worcester’s pursuit of the PawSox remains “extraordinarily viable,” according to the Pawtucket Times. Full Story: Talks on Pawtucket Red Sox Ballpark continue
4. WHY NOT: However, Dufault also downplayed a report by the Worcester Business Journal that reported a local business leader claiming that the PawSox to Worcester is almost a guarantee. In the same RIPR report, Dufault said, “…Worcester proponents lack control of the site for an envisioned stadium, although he also said Rhode Island remains ‘in a race against time with Worcester.'”
5. WHY: There seems to be a lack of attendance to start the new Pawtucket season. According to the Worcester Red Sox Twitter page, the PawSox drew the lowest attendance in all of AAA baseball at their game on May 2 — “Despite a beautiful spring night with a game time temp of 66 degrees the #PawSox could only draw 2,328 fans to last night’s game, making it the smallest crowd in all of AAA baseball last night.” Additionally, GoLocalProv is reporting that the PawSox are inflating their attendance numbers by as much as 300%.
6. WHY NOT: Nothing is going to happen in Rhode Island until the end of June — after the state government, and possible more public involvement, work out a deal that suits the residents of RI. Full Story: Talks on Pawtucket Red Sox Ballpark continue.
7. WHY: In December, Mayor Joseph M. Petty stated that the construction of a new baseball stadium is a potential “big ticket item” coming down the road for the City and listed it as a “future expenditure” along with the construction of both South and Doherty Memorial high schools.
8. WHY NOT: The City is currently exploring other opportunities to revitalize the Canal District — the proposed location for the construction of new stadium. As TWIW reported in early April, City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. told TWIW that, “The City’s discussions with the Pawtucket Red Sox are on-going as we simultaneously explore the opportunities for the revitalization of the Green Island area and furthering the growth and success of the Canal District.” Full Story: City Exploring Other Opportunities to Revitalize Canal District as Negotiations with PawSox are Ongoing