Will This Empty Parking Lot in Kelley Square Soon Be Covered by Green Grass
and a Baseball Diamond?
The dawn of triple-A baseball in Worcester seems to be getting closer by the day. In an article posted earlier today by ThisWeekInWorcester.com the author claimed that a source close to the negations between Worcester and the PawSox told the media outlet that the City's offer was "substantially better" than what Rhode Island's offer was. It's been two weeks since the Rhode Island House released a revamped stadium bill with a goal of taking all of the burden off the taxpayers. The Rhode Island Senate passed a bill back in January that was immediately declared "dead" by House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello. The Speaker claimed that most of his constitutes were claiming that they were against taxpayer money being used to help subsidize a new stadium. The latest version of the bill shifted more of the risk to the PawSox ownership, who would need to put up $45 million of their own money.
The PawSox have not commented on the new bill, which definitely raises eyebrows since through most of this process the team has released a statement of some kind when situations like this have presented themselves. The Rhode Island legislature is expected to go into summer recess a week from today and if they adjourn before taking a vote on the bill that will virtually guarantee a PawSox exit from the state.
The source quoted in the This Week in Worcester article claims that the Worcester deal would include construction of a $75 million stadium. $60 million of that would be paid for by the state and city of Worcester. The PawSox would pick up the remaining $15 million. This is significantly less than the $45 million they would have to put up in the Rhode Island deal, which again still has not been voted on. Obviously, the team is going to go where they can maximize their profits and by saving $30 million out of their pockets that would make for a great running start in The Woo. We will see what happens next week, but I have to believe this soap opera is finally coming to a conclusion.