In a press conference hosted by the city of Worcester, MA it was announced the city will become the home of the Pawtucket Red Sox. After the 2020 season, the team will leave Pawtucket and move into a new stadium.
The move to Worcester will save the owners of the Pawsox about $23 million. For the owners, the offer the city of Worcester made was significantly better than the one the city of Pawtucket made.
PawSox chairman Larry Lucchino said the team has signed a letter of intent to build an “innovative” stadium that would be open for baseball in 2021. He will partner on the stadium project with Janet Marie Smith, with whom he worked on the design and construction of Camden Yards for the Baltimore Orioles and on updates to Fenway Park when the two worked for the Boston Red Sox.
“We are eager to build an innovative, family-friendly ballpark that reflects the love and appreciation of baseball and that unifies Central Massachusetts and the Blackstone Valley Corridor,” Lucchino said in a statement.
With the move one of the longest relationships with a city in minor league baseball will come to an end. The PawSox came to Pawtucket in 1970, back then still as an AA team in the Eastern League. From 1973 the team is the highest ranked farm team of the Boston Red Sox. After fifty years the city of Pawtucket will be out of affiliated baseball.
The multi-use ballpark, is part of a multi-million dollar redevelopment in the Canal District, which will also include new apartments, two hotels (one of which will overlook the ballpark), and 65,000 square feet of retail and restaurant spaces. The completion date is expected to be sometime in March 2021. According to Luccino the ballpark will be named “Polar Park” as it will be sponsored by the Polar beverage company.