NEWS

Worcester, Springfield eye PawSox stadium pitch

Thursday, Sep 24, 2015

Now that the Pawtucket Red Sox have officially ended their pursuit of waterfront land in downtown Providence for a new stadium, some Massachusetts officials said Wednesday they're open to a pitch from the Triple-A baseball team.

Officials in Worcester and Springfield said they'd be interested in talking with the team's ownership group, led by Boston Red Sox President Larry Lucchino, about hosting the PawSox.

John Hill, spokesman for Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus Jr., said while the city is open to discussions with the team, he wouldn't say whether Augustus would support building a new stadium.

"He's open to creative ideas," Hill said of the city manager.

Hill reiterated that Augustus has no intention of using public money to finance a stadium.

Worcester, the second largest city in New England, is home to Worcester Bravehearts, a summer collegiate baseball team that plays at a 3,000-seat stadium owned by the College of the Holy Cross.

James Leydon, a spokesman for Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, said the city has a rich history of minor league baseball.

"The mayor would be very open to a conversation with the PawSox on bringing baseball back to Springfield," Leydon said.

The city was home to the minor league Springfield Giants until 1965.

Leydon wouldn't say whether Sarno would consider building a new stadium for the PawSox or using public money for one.

The PawSox have officially ended their monthslong pursuit of waterfront land for a ballpark in downtown Providence. PawSox spokeswoman Patti Doyle said the team will now pursue other options, including alternative locations in Providence.

The PawSox will not consider staying at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Doyle said.

The team's plan to acquire waterfront land in downtown Providence to build a new ballpark died because of significant hurdles associated with the property, which is partly owned by Brown University, state officials said.

After the team's original proposal seeking $120 million in state subsidies faced strenuous public opposition, state officials and Lucchino met behind closed doors to renegotiate a deal. The PawSox announced their bid for the land had ended before a revised proposal was made public.

 

wcvb.com