It’s been a while since I’ve brought you an update on the Worcester Red Sox of Pawtucket. That’s because there really hasn’t been anything new. Well, there STILL isn’t anything new, but I’ll just bring you up to speed on what we’ve been hearing and seeing.
The PawSox are “deep in productive conversations with the city of Pawtucket and we fully expect them to be in Pawtucket.” Those were the words of Rhode Island Lt. Governor Dan Mckee yesterday morning on WPRO’s Tara Granahan Show. He seems to sound pretty confident about the franchise remaining in his state. The question is do the Pawtucket Red Sox “fully expect” to remain in the ocean state? The team at this point is not showing their hand. Other than a brief statement on June 29th saying that the team would, “vet the number of issues presented” in the latest legislation, they have been quiet.
This past weekend I talked to Boston Red Sox CEO, Sam Kennedy who wouldn’t comment on the PawSox situation other than to say, “good luck”. I also talked to PawSox chairman Larry Lucchino who told me that the city of Worcester is “ready for the team”, but added that they probably wouldn’t make decision until the end of August.
Worcester, since day one, has remained silent on the issue. They continue to say that they are having discussions with the team, but that’s about all they have ever said. We know that the city has spent over $178,000 in consulting fees to help land the team so they are clearly taking this seriously. We have heard that the Worcester deal is more team friendly than the deal in Pawtucket, but we have yet to see any real numbers. Are there any other indications that the team may be heading north? Other than sightings of team officials around the city in recent weeks we are left with nothing besides rumors and trying to read between the lines.
On Friday, the city of Worcester demolished a nationally known skate park, known as Worcide. The park was built by locals who raised the funds for the park and it has been in existence for over ten years. The city came in, unannounced, and demolished the park. The Worcide sight was located on part of the land that would be used for the potential WooSox ballpark sight. Could this have been the unofficial groundbreaking for the stadium? The city’s official statement was that the park was demolished because it was a health and safety concern. Most likely this is true. Others have suggested that this is tied to the PawSox. The timing does create fodder for conspiracy theories, but I’m not ready to put on my tin foil hat just yet.
Photo Credit: Worcester Magazine
Tuesday’s City Council meeting definitely raised more than a few eyebrows. There was an item on the agenda from City Manager Ed Augustus asking that the “City Council recess into executive session before the close of the July 17, 2018 meeting for the purpose of considering the purchase, sale, lease, and value of real property associated with the Downtown Urban Revitalization Plan as open meeting on this subject may have a detrimental effect on the negotiating position of the City of Worcester.” This has to be related to the PawSox right? Unfortunately, because this discussion took place in executive session the minutes from that discussion will not be available for the public until whatever was talked about has been resolved. Seems like a pretty safe bet, but the city has also been eyeing the Midtown Mall as a site to be taken by eminent domain.
Then there’s the juicy rumors. @WooSox has heard from multiple sources with ties to both the city of Worcester and the Boston Red Sox organization who have said that the Worcester deal is done and an announcement that the team is moving to The Woo is coming, most likely at the end of the PawSox season. Of course the RI Lt. Governor fully expects the PawSox to remain in Pawtucket so maybe he knows more than I do. Stay tuned