The Boston Red Sox are investigating the possibility of moving the Salem Red Sox to Lowell, the town where their former New York-Penn League affiliate was located.
According to Ballpark Digest, Lowell officials have engaged a consultant to tally the costs of bringing Minor League Baseball back to LeLacheur Park, as the Boston Red Sox eye a move of the Salem Red Sox to Massachusetts.
Of course this is great news for the baseball fans in Lowell. On the other hand it is bad news for the fans in Salem. The Lowell Spinners were one of the 42 teams that were cut from affiliated ball. The club even had to cease activities because as the company that runs LeLacheur Park, LeLacheur Lease, was looking for affiliated ball only. The Boston Red Sox always said they were doing everything to keep baseball in Lowell.
But the Red Sox were in limbo when the cut was about to be made. They did not want to leave Lowell but they also did not want to drop Salem, as that team was owned by the Red Sox. So eventually Boston decided in favor of Salem. But that decision was purely made because the Red Sox owned the club in Salem.
When you look to the attendance figures of 2019, the Lowell Spinners attracted 100,687 fans. The Salem Red Sox attracted 171,866 fans. One has to consider that the Spinners played in short season ball. So the number of fans that passed the turn styles isn’t that bad, compared to Salem. In fact, the Spinners averaged 3,051 per game as the Salem Red Sox averaged only 2,565 per game.
So attendance-wise, the eventual move of the Salem Red Sox to Lowell is a logical one. Especially now the city of Lowell is looking to spend $10 million on improvements of LeLacheur Park, like home and visitor clubhouses, locker and weight rooms, concession areas, playing field, irrigation and drainage systems, lighting and seating.
Still everything is up in the air but a move of a farm team owned by the Red Sox to its own backyard (Massachusetts), makes a lot of sense.