A bunch of minority owners of the Boston Red Sox are buying the team’s top farm club, the Pawtucket Red Sox, and their first order of business is moving them out of Pawtucket and into a new stadium in Providence:
Pawtucket’s McCoy Stadium will be home to the Triple A franchise for only a couple of more years, [Providence lawyer James] Skeffington said during an exclusive interview with The Journal.
“Pawtucket doesn’t have the infrastructure,” Skeffington said. “We can’t recreate what Providence has.”
The “target” for a new stadium, said Skeffington, is a piece of freed-up I-195 land he can see from his law firm’s office atop One Financial Plaza downtown.
Beyond saying that his group has a $60 million price tag in mind for the stadium, Skeffington didn’t say how it would be paid for, whether he’d be seeking public subsidies, or whether he’d pay rent on the public land that it would use, if the I-195 site is approved. This is kind of a big deal, given that the state of Rhode Island and the federal government just spent $610 million to move I-195 and free up 39 acres of land downtown, 20 acres of which was supposed to be sold for redevelopment — a baseball stadium could take up close to half of that acreage, so if the PawSox want access to the property without paying for it, that could amount to a huge opportunity cost.
It would also mean the likely end for McCoy Stadium, the team’s current 73-year-old home, which is not only one of the few surviving ballparks from the first half of the 20th century, but has a long and storied history, including being the site of the longest pro baseball game ever. Not that that in itself is a reason to retain it, and not that it’s necessarily going anywhere soon, given that all the team’s new owners have going so far are vague plans for a new stadium. Still, I’m going to try to swing by there this summer, just in case. If nothing else, maybe I’ll find out what “infrastructure” Skeffington thinks is missing from a stadium that drew a respectable 515,000 fans last year.