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New Stadium in Pawtucket?

Discussion in 'Red Sox Forum' started by Brohamer of the Gods, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. terrynever

    terrynever Member SoSH Member

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    The Good Doctor would prefer to stay in Pawtucket. But RI pols don't want the PawSox. This is a one-party state controlled by the Speaker of the House, who put a poison pill in the state's offer. Everyone thinks small in Rhode Island.
     
  2. NoXInNixon

    NoXInNixon Member SoSH Member

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    3,684
    Worcester Magazine is reporting the deal is done and will be announced in two weeks.
     
  3. moretsyndrome

    moretsyndrome Member SoSH Member

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    Also too many damn Yankee fans here!
    (avuncular winking emoji)
     
  4. Brohamer of the Gods

    Brohamer of the Gods Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    Strictly comparing the two sites, riverfront Pawtucket is better than Kelley Square Worcester but if the money being offered by Worcester and Mass is as good as rumored, so it goes. Too bad, because I'm not driving to Worcester.
     
  5. NoXInNixon

    NoXInNixon Member SoSH Member

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    3,684
    I didn't know where in Worcester it was going. Holy shit. Kelley Square is the worst intersection I've ever driven through, and they want to add more traffic? Holy shit again.
     
  6. Brohamer of the Gods

    Brohamer of the Gods Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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  7. terrynever

    terrynever Member SoSH Member

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    12,850
    Keep your enemies close ...
     
  8. terrynever

    terrynever Member SoSH Member

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    Me, neither.
    If Worcester does prevail, the PawSox still have two seasons left on their lease agreement at McCoy while Worcester builds its new park. I wonder what attendance will be like? Many people will boycott, even if losing the franchise was a collective effort by state government.
     
  9. yeahlunchbox

    yeahlunchbox Member SoSH Member

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    The state government hasn't helped, but Skeffington and the PawSox are most at fault for what has transpired. That first Providence proposal was so terrible, so insulting that they made what was already going to be a difficult process almost impossible.
     
  10. Brohamer of the Gods

    Brohamer of the Gods Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    Yeah, picking Skeffington as a local fixer was a huge mistake. He totally misread the landscape.
     
  11. Brohamer of the Gods

    Brohamer of the Gods Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    I will still go while they are in Pawtucket, mostly because my six year old is really into going right now. Usually I have been going to about five games a year, this year we will be in the 8-10 range.

    If they end up in Worcester, I am sure I will go to a game at some point, if only because I presume some youth outing with my kid will be there. Currently I get a bunch of flex tickets each year, but that won't continue.

    I am acquainted with some of the people who have been pushing this on the Worcester end, so I hope it works out for them and does something for Worcester. But that site is an hour drive for me with no traffic, leaving there after a game could be a nightmare.
     
  12. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

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    I'll miss them if they go, but I don't think too many other people will. I can't remember the last time I've gone (we go a few times a year) and not seen vast sections of empty blue seats. We went last Friday night, listed attendance was 5,566, but it sure looked a lot smaller than that. I worked there in the early 90s and there would routinely be standing room only crowds -- people would actually sit in those seats that are directly behind the press box and 100% obstructed, and not just on fireworks night. Granted, the stadium was smaller back then, so the same number of people will look a less more impressive spread out among three extra sections of seats and the OF areas. And given the population difference, I can't imagine them doing much better in Worcester after the novelty wears off in a few years -- they must be getting a heck of a deal compared to Pawtucket.
     
  13. Beomoose

    Beomoose Member SoSH Member

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    15,306
    I apologize to proud Worcester residents at the start, but from the outside if this is the way it goes I'm pretty depressed. Since the purchase, I have always been a bit braced for a crappy relocation as the team sought those sweet-sweet public funds. But, jeez, Worcester. I don't care how often they reference Larry's track record, no Worcester stadium's ever going to be PetCo or Camden and it seems pretty silly to bring those up as reasons to be excited for a not particularly interesting looking lot.

    It's been a long time since I lived in RI and my family made that trek up from Kent County, but all I can think is how it's a trip we probably wouldn't have made if the WorseSox were twice as far away in a not particularly interesting part of Mass.
     
  14. luckiestman

    luckiestman Son of the Harpy SoSH Member

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    8,707

    Why arent people going? I always had a good time late 80s/ early 90s. Are tix too expensive?
     
  15. Mugsy's Jock

    Mugsy's Jock Longtime Member Lifetime Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    8,480
    Not to go all TheoShmeo, but I went to Fenway today with a friend who is close to the Dentist, and he confirmed Worcester is a done deal.

    I’m a Rhode Islander and going to PawSox games was a big part of my youth, so I’m a little melancholy. But sounds like the team wasn’t drawing great the last couple of years, and the only way to hang onto them was acceding to a stadium deal that just wouldn’t be in the best interests of taxpayers. I’d have been more melancholy for Rgode Island if they did a terrible stadium deal than I am that the PawSox are moving.
     
  16. TheoShmeo

    TheoShmeo Skrub's sympathy case Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Et tu, @Mugsy’s Jock?

    As a Scion of Worcester, this is good news.
     
  17. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

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    I don’t know. Kids playing less baseball, kids more busy with other stuff? But last time I checked , attendance was down all over the International League, not just Pawtucket.
     
  18. timlinin8th

    timlinin8th Member SoSH Member

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    I didn’t know that either.... I had been pulling for Worcester for selfish reasons in that it puts the team a LOT closer to me, but had assumed any potential sites would be around WPI that has a lot more space and plenty of buildable lots. Kelley Sq though? If I have to drive through Kelley Sq then it may not make for an easier drive than Pawtucket because it is easily the worst intersection I’ve been in too. I mean, who designed this thing:

    [​IMG]

    I get it, it ticks off a bunch of boxes; commuter rail and highway accessible (and the Worcester line runs through the Yawkey stop so they could run day/night doubleheader WooSox/Red Sox promotions), local businesses, etc but there’s no damn space to really do anything there besides the lot itself (the empty Wyman-Gordon lot). Of course, maybe a ballpark is the push they need to fix this monstrocity.
     
    #68 timlinin8th, Aug 5, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
  19. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

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    Pawsox attendance by year. I've heard people blame the fact people are angry with the team over the stadium situation, but those reports first came out after Ben Mondor's wife sold the team in November of 2014. That may have accelerated things, but it was already in a big decline well before any of that. If they do move to Worcester, McCoy is going to be a ghost town for the lame duck years.

    2005: 9561 (1st)
    2006: 9289 (1st)
    2007: 8861 (3rd)
    2008: 9097 (2nd)
    2009: 8923 (3rd)
    2010: 8343 (4th)
    2011: 8270 (4th)
    2012: 7551 (6th)
    2013: 7827 (6th)
    2014: 7367 (9th)
    2015: 6572 (9th)
    2016: 6076 (10th)
    2017: 6406 (10th)
    2018: 5671 (10th)

    http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?y=2018&t=l_att&lid=117&sid=l117
     
  20. Brohamer of the Gods

    Brohamer of the Gods Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    A chunk of the attendance decline at McCoy is self inflicted. Based both on press reports and my Facebook page, some people were so angry about their Providence stadium attempt that they stopped going to games.
     
  21. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

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    I don't doubt that is a factor in recent years, but they had already dropped from 1st to 9th in the league before any of that.
     
  22. Brohamer of the Gods

    Brohamer of the Gods Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    Oh no doubt it is a small percentage. To no surprise, The Dentist is promoting the hell out of the place. Besides the usual between innings crap, the flex tix I get each include a $2 concessions credit. My son got a card at school that gives free admission for him and an adult to every home game, and a $5 credit. With all of that the numbers are still low.
     
  23. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

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    They are definitely trying. I wonder if the feeling is that the atmosphere in RI is poisoned, and a move to Worcester is best for the team.
     
  24. terrynever

    terrynever Member SoSH Member

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    I get what you guys are saying but 10,086 fans found their way into McCoy Stadium last night. Ticket discounts, fireworks, other promotions are all part of minor league baseball. Everyone does it.
    The only significance I place on a sellout crowd is that it shows the depth of the fan base in our region. People come from all over New England to McCoy, but mostly from Southeast New England.
    Baseball is thriving in the northeast, unlike other parts of the country.
    A new stadium in Pawtucket would stoke the fan base for a few years. Cynics say attendance figures would then begin to decline. But how can they be sure? The PawSox have a first-class design team in place. The stadium -- if it goes through -- no doubt will emulate Fenway.
    If the big club continues to contend for a World Series every year, minor league teams in Lowell, Portland and either Pawtucket or Worcester will benefit.
    Boston can't lose either way this stadium deal goes. Except for the weather. Worcester gets way more thunder storms than we do here in Pawtucket!
     
  25. Comfortably Lomb

    Comfortably Lomb Koko the Monkey SoSH Member

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    There is no space that could accommodate a ballpark near WPI, and the west side residents would quickly scuttle an attempt to drop a park near the school could in any way impact traffic and their lives. A small bandstand in Institute Park was a behind the scenes fiasco--a ballpark would be a non-starter.

    Anyway, the Kelley Square site would be a traffic nightmare. Forget the crazy intersection itself--290, its ramps, and the general road access to that part of town won't be able to handle the traffic volume for games. If the PawSox are coming to Worcester then the city is getting fleeced hard enough for the team to live with all of the issues.
     
    #75 Comfortably Lomb, Aug 5, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
  26. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

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    I'm with you. My feelings for the PawSox run deep -- I met my wife when we both worked at McCoy. I thought the Apex site would be perfect. But the fact is that attendance has been in sharp decline for over 10 years, and you can't do fireworks every night. And perhaps due to the 38 Studios debacle, a large part of the public would be against any stadium deal. I get why they are moving.
     
  27. Brohamer of the Gods

    Brohamer of the Gods Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    I think the current climate in RI is due to a range of thing. Some, like 38 Studios, were outside of their control, others, like the hamfisted land grab attempt in Providence are on the Paw Sox.

    Either way, if they got a better deal in Worcester then they will take it. People in that neighborhood have been pushing revitalizing the Canal District hard for about 20 years. They even had a proposal to build a decrative replica Canal along several blocks of Harding Street in an attempt to have their own Water Place park. There are some bars and restaurants down there which will do well.
     
  28. terrynever

    terrynever Member SoSH Member

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    They are moving because R.I. politicians did not want to backstop the stadium deal loan. Even though the state supported Central Falls when it filed for bankruptcy a decade ago, the legislature would not support Pawtucket's bid to revitalize its economy.
     
    #78 terrynever, Aug 5, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
  29. shaggydog2000

    shaggydog2000 Member SoSH Member

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    4,290

    I was assuming that the collapse in ticket sales was relating to the RI economy falling harder than most other places during the recession, but it actually looks like they did relatively well up through 2010. That it fell so much since then seems odd. They've only been sold and talking about relocating in the last few years, right?
     
  30. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

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    Right. The team was sold after the 2014 season and that's when the stadium talk began.
     
  31. RIFan

    RIFan Member SoSH Member

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    I grew up a mile and a half from McCoy. I played Little League in Pawt so we frequently got to have one or two team clinics at McCoy. One of my best childhood memories was working out in the bullpen with John Tudor. Having them leave would be heartbreaking. The attendance is due to a number of factors including the lack of marketable prospects. The one thing that stands out to me is how much better the Providence Bruins do at marketing and group promotions. They are extremely aggressive at getting groups and their season ticket plans are attractive enough to land even casual fans. The PawSox have done more as of late, but it obviously isn't effective.

    Ultimately, IF they end up sealing the deal with Worcester the primary cause will be one thing: 38 Studios. Many RI'ers and virtually all our elected officials have a complete inability to analyze situations independently. Lost money on something barely tangentially related to baseball must mean anything related to baseball will cost the taxpayers.

    The only guarantee is that decades from now RI will wax nostigally about the PawSox and wonder why we can't keep nice things.
     
  32. Brohamer of the Gods

    Brohamer of the Gods Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    Paw Sox attendance grew significantly in the early 2000s due to the stadium expansion in 1999, which made it a much nicer place to see a game, and especially to bring kids to. The massive interest in the Boston Red Sox in that time frame also helped.

    Much of the decline over the past ten years or so is due to the newness of the stadium wearing off, and the general decline of the Red Sox mania of the early 2000s. The dip below 500,000 a year in 2015 and 2016 is the reaction to the Providence stadium deal.

    Below is a link to annual attendance numbers, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page.

    http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?ymd=20080917&content_id=41224688&sid=t533&vkey=stats
     
  33. DrBlinky

    DrBlinky Member SoSH Member

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    The attendance figures are down as reported, but on top of that there was also a media report earlier this season that the PawSox were overinflating those attendance figures. (Some estimates by up to 300%).

    http://m.golocalprov.com/news/pawsox-attendance-inflated-by-as-much-as-300

    For the games I've gone to this year, the actual attendance did seem to be much less than reported. A recent Friday night game had attendance at over 7000 and it would be pushing it to say the stadium was even 50% full that night.
     
  34. Pablo's TB Lover

    Pablo's TB Lover lurker

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    I think the decline simply comes down to location: PawSox management had come a long way from when I went to games as a kid so far as making the in-ballpark experience as enjoyable as possible. But that neighborhood just didn't change. Back 20-30 years ago when I would attend many games, baseball was the thing. Didn't matter any amenities outside the park. However you see everywhere how amenities outside the park/stadium help draw people to the area not only before gametime but make the area a year-round destination. Think Patriot Place, Yawkey Way/Brookline/Boyleston, even downtown Providence near the Dunk has become a lot more desirable since the PBruins moved in.

    The area is such a hassle to get to unless you are very local, and for whatever reason the locals were not interested (maybe the declining Pawtucket population and income in general).
     
  35. Ale Xander

    Ale Xander Member SoSH Member

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    You're in tune with the team and their promos, any clue why they do their jersey and bobblehead giveaways on weekends, including fireworks days, than on weekdays, when it would seemingly be easier to draw?
     
  36. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

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    Every game I’ve been to in the last 10 years I’ve felt like there were way fewer people in the stadium than the reported attendance. But maybe I’m just bad at estimating.
     
  37. Brohamer of the Gods

    Brohamer of the Gods Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    No clue, the fireworks are their biggest draw without question. We were there last week on Sunday, and without looking it up it was about half full. We ran the bases after the game and there were many fewer kids taking advantage. My son was the only kids club member there, or at least the only one taking advantage of being first in line.
     
  38. Ale Xander

    Ale Xander Member SoSH Member

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    I may be in the minority here, but I don't mind if there aren't amenities around a ml park. I can do my pre and postgame eating on the way/back from, in Dedham/Westwood etc. I am closer to Worcester than Providence, but I preferred the park in RI because there are fewer things to do in RI, and the traffic on 290/90/9 is going to be bad. Pawtucket and Providence have easier parking too, than Worcester, but maybe I'm wrong there. It was so easy to park conveniently and free for McCoy (except during fireworks you have to make sure you left on time or a bit early to not be falsely imprisoned by the fire and police protecting you.

    Even with the downturn in attendance I feel that RI needs the AAA Red Sox a lot more than MA.


    And if G38/38 Studios had a factor in RI not matching/beating the Worce bid, f him.
     
  39. shaggydog2000

    shaggydog2000 Member SoSH Member

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    Attendance numbers are always how many tickets were sold (and often given away) rather than the number of people through the gates. I think the difference would be much greater at a major league level where season tickets are a big chunk of the sales, but you never know.
     
  40. richgedman'sghost

    richgedman'sghost Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Thanks Curt! (In regards to 38 Studios being responsible for Pawsox moving.)
     
  41. Lose Remerswaal

    Lose Remerswaal Leaves after the 8th inning Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Pawsox have historically had a good season ticket holder base. We haven't been to McCoy this year (that's on me) but in the past few years the upper sections might be full on a weekend while the lower, season ticket sections, had lots of empty seats
     
  42. StMic

    StMic lurker

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    "Very productive meeting" between Pawtucket & Pawsox this past week.

     
  43. RIFan

    RIFan Member SoSH Member

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    That's probably because a lot of the season ticket holders are businesses. It's hard to give away tickets that aren't exactly in high demand.
     
  44. The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

    The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa Member SoSH Member

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    A "good job good effort" meeting or a "let's spend a lunch hour with Pawtucket to try to squeeze a couple more million from Worcester" meeting?
     
  45. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

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    I still think that given the market size differences, the preference has to be to stay in Pawtucket. Look at the difference in attendance between the Worcester and Providence hockey teams:


    http://www.hockeydb.com/nhl-attendance/att_graph_season.php?lid=ECHL2004&sid=2018

    http://www.hockeydb.com/nhl-attendance/att_graph_season.php?lid=AHL1941&sid=2018
     
  46. StMic

    StMic lurker

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    Other than Worcester there aren't any decent sized cities nearby. Factor in Providence, Cranston, Warwick etc with Pawtucket and the difference is substantial. Is that enough to keep them in Pawtucket, who knows?
     
  47. thestardawg

    thestardawg Member SoSH Member

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  48. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

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    The minor league Bruins. I might buy that there a slight bump because of the name, but 90% of the people who go are families and/or youth groups who can't name a single player they are going to see. I think it has a lot more to do with the 1.62 million people in the Providence metro area, and 942K in Worcester.
     
  49. timlinin8th

    timlinin8th Member SoSH Member

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    As someone who attended both team’s games last season with my son, I’d have to say you are severely underselling the impact being the Bruins’ AHL affiliate is vs. an ECHL team that has guys who have never seen an NHL sheet before.

    Just off the top of my head, Czarnik, Cehlarik, Cave, Blidh, Cross, and Agostino saw significant ice time for the parent club (and that’s saying nothing for prospects like Zboril, Lauzon, Senyshyn, JFK, and Frederic having time there). Compare that to my not being able to name a single player off the Railers’ roster. There is a big jump from ECHL to AHL level. Of course, having a larger audience to draw from and being practically attached to the Providence Place Mall are factors as well but I think the affliliation is more than just a “slight bump”. My 8 year old absolutely knew players he was seeing on the AHL ice from watching Bruins’ games on TV.
     
  50. RIFan

    RIFan Member SoSH Member

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    The Bruins connection absolutely makes a difference. There is a sizable season ticket base. The perks of being a season ticket holder have changed over time, but they used to include tickets to a regular season Boston game, and most recently to a preseason Black and Gold game at the Dunk. I used to live equidistant to Worcester and Providence and only went to Prov games due to the Bruins connection even before becoming a ST holder.
     

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