Worcester Feeling Optimistic About Potential PawSox Relocation
Central Massachusetts business leaders and politicians are hoping to hit a home run later this year when the owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox announce whether they will move their Minor League Baseball team from its longtime home in Rhode Island to Worcester.
It has been three years since Worcester’s Canal District Alliance business group invited the PawSox to the Central Massachusetts city to scope it out as an option for a new stadium once its lease at Pawtucket’s McCoy Stadium expires at the end of the 2020 season, the Worcester Telegram reports.
Gene Zabinski, head of the CDA, also spearheaded a campaign that sent over 10,000 postcards in support of the move from Worcester residents, and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has lent his support to wooing the team across state lines. The efforts may have paid off.
A Minor League Baseball attorney confirmed in late July he filed three “Woo Sox” trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and several sources told the Telegram an announcement is expected in August.
Rhode Island is still putting up a fight. Gov. Gina Raimondo signed off on a bill in July for an $83M ballpark to be built in Pawtucket that would be split three ways. The team would spend $45M, the state would put up $23M and Pawtucket would pay $15M.
But Worcester’s stadium deal would require less red tape. The Worcester City Council already voiced support last year to Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus Jr. to do what was necessary to win the team. Formal plans for a Worcester stadium could be revealed as early as this week.