Pawsox being sold to Red Sox Ownership

mabrowndog

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Not a surprise. Not to me, at least. ;)
 
In the New Britain thread a few months back, I suggested that the Sox might well engineer the eventual purchase of the franchise to move it to the new stadium planned for Hartford. However, my thought was that there'd be an intermediary in the deal that would take ownership from the Mondor family -- and from whom the Sox would ultimately purchase it.
 
Hard to say if the new owners are really "intermediaries" until we know their identities. If any of the H/L/W troika is involved, then no -- and this is pretty much a direct purchase by the Sox. And barring a new stadium in the Providence area (yeah, good luck with that...), I still believe the affiliate will end up in Hartford.
 

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Wow. I'm somewhat surprised. The speculation around the seasonal staff was that Tamburro had a portion of the team and would ultimately assume the franchise. I've been away from the team for years, so I'm not sure what's happened in the last decade. Most of the key staff has been there for a long time and they've got a pretty well-oiled machine. It would be hard to imagine a major staff overhaul given the role that the PawSox realistically play in supporting the Red Sox. However, perhaps the new owners think that there's more money to be made at McCoy than what is currently being earned.
 

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mabrowndog said:
Not a surprise. Not to me, at least. ;)
 
In the New Britain thread a few months back, I suggested that the Sox might well engineer the eventual purchase of the franchise to move it to the new stadium planned for Hartford. However, my thought was that there'd be an intermediary in the deal that would take ownership from the Mondor family -- and from whom the Sox would ultimately purchase it.
 
Hard to say if the new owners are really "intermediaries" until we know their identities. If any of the H/L/W troika is involved, then no -- and this is pretty much a direct purchase by the Sox. And barring a new stadium in the Providence area (yeah, good luck with that...), I still believe the affiliate will end up in Hartford.
Since I don't know squat about this, I will ask and learn. Why would the Sox and Pawsox go the route of an intermediary? What would be the benefits of doing it this way as opposed to simply having the Sox buy the Pawsox outright? Thanks.
 

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mabrowndog said:
Not a surprise. Not to me, at least. ;)
 
In the New Britain thread a few months back, I suggested that the Sox might well engineer the eventual purchase of the franchise to move it to the new stadium planned for Hartford. However, my thought was that there'd be an intermediary in the deal that would take ownership from the Mondor family -- and from whom the Sox would ultimately purchase it.
 
Hard to say if the new owners are really "intermediaries" until we know their identities. If any of the H/L/W troika is involved, then no -- and this is pretty much a direct purchase by the Sox. And barring a new stadium in the Providence area (yeah, good luck with that...), I still believe the affiliate will end up in Hartford.
I understand the idea of trying to cut into Yankee territory by moving the team to Hartford, but is telling the state of Rhode Island and its Red Sox fans to go screw themselves in the process really a sound plan?
 

mabrowndog

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oumbi said:
Since I don't know squat about this, I will ask and learn. Why would the Sox and Pawsox go the route of an intermediary? What would be the benefits of doing it this way as opposed to simply having the Sox buy the Pawsox outright? Thanks.
 
I explain it in the post I linked to, but in short my theory was that it would be a means of cushioning the public relations blow of leaving Pawtucket. Sox ownership could simply say, "Hey, we're not the ones who pulled up roots."
 
yeahlunchbox said:
I understand the idea of trying to cut into Yankee territory by moving the team to Hartford, but is telling the state of Rhode Island and its Red Sox fans to go screw themselves in the process really a sound plan?
 
See above. And again, see the post I linked to where I lay out some alarming figures for how poorly the PawSox have done in revenues compared to other minor league franchises despite the PawSox being a highly valuable franchise. What Ben Mondor did to revitalize McCoy from the dump that it was and make it a family-friendly venue remains an astounding feat, but it's not a money maker in today's baseball economy. The Mondors didn't care about maximizing revenue and profit. New owners will most certainly care about it more.
 
vadertime said:
If they do move, it won't be any time soon.  Plus isn't one of the advantages of having the team in Pawtucket the proximity?  You almost triple the distance by moving them to Hartford.
 
http://wpri.com/2014/11/28/report-pawsox-may-be-sold-to-some-red-sox-owners/
 
It becomes a 2-hour drive, which is no big deal and would still leave the Sox having one of the closest AAA affiliates in the majors.
 
As for the extension of the lease agreement, I doubt that would stand in the way of a relocation if the finances made sense for new ownership. They'd reach a settlement of some sort.
 

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A lawsuit was filed today to stop the Hartford stadium project, the planning commission has voiced considerable disagreement with the way the project is moving forward, and a battle over the use of eminent domain to acquire the land is not unlikely.
 
With respect, MBD, I'm just not seeing the signs outside of your posts that any other team let alone the PawSox is destined for the stadium. The New Britain club and the City are still proceeding as if no AAA team is swooping in, and the absence of some local official leaking to the paper/his mistress that they have another team sniffing the deal seems to reinforce the idea it's going to be a Rock Cats stadium. 
 
Also, fuck Hartford.
 

mabrowndog

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Believe me, I don't want to see them leave. And if the stadium deal in CT, which sounded like it was predicated on duct tape and haybale twine to begin with, is now falling apart, I'm fine with that. But my point was that *IF* a new stadium were to be built in Hartford, that's something any new owners of the Red Sox' AAA franchise would HAVE to give serious consideration to.
 

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The Stadium in Hartford will be built. Hartford can fuck things up in a way only Hartford can but those fuck ups will only result in delays. The lawsuit was filed by Ken Krayeske (see awesome video below): 
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xokthY5zuPU
 
The suit alleges the city failed to give proper notice of the zone change. The commission has to give 10 days notice by law and Krayeske alleges they gave 9. Even if he is correct it doesn't matter - the City can just file a new zone change application. 
 
The eminent domain issue is a non-issue. These are vacant lots bought by speculators - not folks homes or businesses - who were waiting for exactly this moment. Once their price is met they will turn over title. With Malloy being re-elected, I suspect state money will somehow flow into this project. 
Sometime in the next few years (almost certainly not for April 2016) Hartford will have a brand new state of the industry AAA ready baseball stadium in a prime location. Landing a AAA affiliate of the Red Sox would be really attractive to a sports crazed market looking for a splash. 
 
The only wrinkle here is that Luke Bronin is being pushed to run for Mayor as Hartford's next great white hope. Bronin is by all accounts very smart (a Rhodes Scholar) and a decent guy which should pretty much automatically disqualify him from seeking the seat but the temptation to try may be strong. While I like Segarra, he's lost some support over various issues including this stadium.  The path to victory for Bronin would be extremely difficult.  He would have to forge a coalition of white folks in the west end and black folks in the North End where the stadium will be built. Hartford's current Mayor, Pedro Segarra supports the stadium. Bronin's wife, Sarah is chair of Hartford's Planning and Zoning Commission. How any of this plays out in the rough and tumble world of Hartford politics is anyone's guess.  But hey, when like 10% of eligible voters turnout in municipal elections anything can happen.
 
But when the dust settles, most folks who I know who are in the know, believe this gets done. I think the right hands have been greased.
 

Brohamer of the Gods

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I just looked at one recent article (October) that describes it as a 9000 seat stadium. I know that part of the semi-recent expansion at McCoy was to meet the AAA minimum of 10,000 seats. They aren't that stupid in Hartford, are they?
 

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Brohamer of the Gods said:
I just looked at one recent article (October) that describes it as a 9000 seat stadium. I know that part of the semi-recent expansion at McCoy was to meet the AAA minimum of 10,000 seats. They aren't that stupid in Hartford, are they?
I've seen the 9000 number but I've read that the 9000 seat number is "expandable" to a greater capacity. Where I've read this I don't know. The reporting on the stadium has been terrible, plans have changed, and officials themselves appear to have been confused at times. But to the best of my knowledge, they are building this to be AAA ready though no AAA affiliate has been named. 
 

mabrowndog

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Brohamer of the Gods said:
The two hour drive does become a big deal for guys on rehab assignments, because you are now talking a daily four hour round trip.
 
Why don't you ask White Sox players how much they like flying between O'Hare and Charlotte NC for a rehab assignment and then get back to me on how big a deal it is for Red Sox players to drive 2 hours each way.
 
Do the same for the Cubs, who send their guys to Des Moines. Or the D-Backs, who have to go to Reno and back.
 
Then, call the Dodgers -- flush with cash, last I heard -- and let me know what it's like for them to fly two fucking time zones to Oklahoma City.
 
Let's keep playing this game:
 
San Diego --> El Paso TX
Minnesota --> Rochester NY
Oakland --> Nashville TN
NY Mets --> Las Vegas NV
Miami --> New Orleans LA
Tampa Bay --> Durham NC
 

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The fewer the stated seats, the lower the initial cost estimates. So the build the room for additional capacity, if a AAA club is in the fold - there's a cost overrun.

And by hands greased, I don't mean anything illegal. Rather just the usual politics in so far as the unions are getting theirs, parking lots will be run by the right folks, the neighborhood is getting a much needed supermarket with livable wage jobs, and white folks are getting the Hooker brewery. Corporations, desperate to attract and retain talent are also on board with this attraction.
 

Brohamer of the Gods

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mabrowndog said:
 
Why don't you ask White Sox players how much they like flying between O'Hare and Charlotte NC for a rehab assignment and then get back to me on how big a deal it is for Red Sox players to drive 2 hours each way.
 
Do the same for the Cubs, who send their guys to Des Moines. Or the D-Backs, who have to go to Reno and back.
 
Then, call the Dodgers -- flush with cash, last I heard -- and let me know what it's like for them to fly two fucking time zones to Oklahoma City.
 
Let's keep playing this game:
 
San Diego --> El Paso TX
Minnesota --> Rochester NY
Oakland --> Nashville TN
NY Mets --> Las Vegas NV
Miami --> New Orleans LA
Tampa Bay --> Durham NC
Oh gosh, if only I knew that before. I knew I could count on you for pointing out the obvious. But tell you what, I am going to call each and every player on those teams who have had a rehab assignment in the past five years so we get a big enough sample size to answer your question.
 
I didn't say it was a deal breaker, but the current set up is damned convenient because players can go to Fenway in the morning for treatment/ status update with the team medical staff and still play in Pawtucket that evening. And they can do it each day of a short rehab assignment. Could the Paw Sox move to Hartford - sure, it makes a lot of sense. But right now you are just pulling this out of your ass based on a stadium that hasn't even begun construction.
 

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"Cash rules everything around me" said the Wu Tang Clan. There's no doubt if the Sox own the Paw Sox they'll maximize revenue streams. Whether that's in Hartford or Pawtucket, driving distance won't factor into the equation.
 

mabrowndog

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Brohamer of the Gods said:
Oh gosh, if only I knew that before. I knew I could count on you for pointing out the obvious.
 
Says the guy who felt compelled to inform us that a two-hour drive in one direction becomes part of a four-hour round trip.
 
Your description of that excursion as a "big deal" for rehabbing major league baseball players -- in a landscape where many teams are separated thousands of miles from their top minor league club, and where the Sox would still have one of the five most proximate AAA affiliates -- was idiotic. But rather than directly call you an idiot, I opted to be kind and gentle -- by simply pointing out the numerous cases that exposed your post as a waste of bandwidth.
 
Brohamer of the Gods said:
But right now you are just pulling this out of your ass based on a stadium that hasn't even begun construction.
 
Just like I pulled out of my ass in September that the PawSox would likely change hands? Or that their revenues blow compared to other minor league teams including several in A-ball?
 
As for the Hartford stadium, you don't seem very able to grasp the concept of discussing the future based on either contingencies or possibilities (let alone both), so maybe you should just stick to playing the sympathy violin for the poor, downtrodden professional ballplayers who would have to *sniff* spend a few hours in a car instead of spending an hour each way going through airport security and hanging out in crappy terminal lounges.
 

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Yuku. But Browndog is right. John Henry doesn't give a shit about traffic on 84 or guys like Will Middlebrooks or Ben Cherington being stuck in it.
 

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Trautwein's Degree said:
Yuku. But Browndog is right. John Henry doesn't give a shit about traffic on 84 or guys like Will Middlebrooks or Ben Cherington being stuck in it.
Of course not, he travels from Boston to Hartford on his yacht.
 

Byrdbrain

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Whether rehabbing MLBers have to drive one or two hours to get to the AAA park, while it might be on the list of pros and cons as to where the franchise is located, it is so far down on that list as to be not really worth discussing.
Revenue streams and potentially converting some young and impressionable MFY fans in an area of split allegiance have to be much higher on this list.
 
That said screw that I want them in Manchester it's only about 20 minutes up the road from me. 
 

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Byrdbrain said:
...
That said screw that I want them in Manchester it's only about 20 minutes up the road from me. 
 
It's not even that long of a walk for me but Toronto and the Fisher Cats recently extended their Player Development Contract through the 2018 season. They draw pretty well for the league so Toronto probably would not be inclined to move if they can't find a location that is closer to home/proximate to a "major" airport and one that offers more attendance.
 

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The new stadium isn't a necessity, but proximity to Boston may actually hurt the PawSox in terms of trying to build AAA revenue.  The new owners of the PawSox may want to increase seat licenses, luxury box type stuff, but all of that money may prefer slightly less amenities and higher cost to just go to Fenway.  Hartford would probably be able to support more of that kind of thing, although it's kind of a "believe it when I see it" deal.  It should be noted looking at all of those AAA revenue lists that the teams that do best are far from MLB options.  
 
Sacramento - 2 hours from SF and Oakland.  
Lehigh Valley - 1.5 hours from the Phillies (Philadelphia is huge, you can get to the northern outskirts in about an hour, but it's another half hour to get to the stadium, more with traffic)
Round Rock - 2.5 hours from DFW, 3 hours from Houston.
Memphis - 4 hours from St. Louis, 5 from Atlanta
Columbus - 2 hours from Cleveland, 2.5 hours from Pittsburgh
 
etc. etc.
 
As far as I can tell the PawSox are the only AAA team within an hour of MLB.  That said, given the skyrocketing price of attending a game in Boston, you would think they could do something similar to what the IronPigs are doing, and Providence has about twice as much population to draw from as Allentown.  (By SMSA).  Perhaps the idea will be to move first, but I hate the idea of another shitty for taxpayers boondoggle stadium, and I would think they could at least try to expand their appeal first.  While the PawSox do poorly by revenue, they do very well by attendance.  The question is what they can do to expand revenue without negatively affecting attendance too much.  It seems there is an opportunity to be a little less family friendly (super cheap ticket blocks, free parking, etc. are not as easily found at other AAA venues).
 
On the other hand, while what might make the most sense is for Pawtucket to get a AA team, the SeaDogs aren't going anywhere, so it would probably have to happen with another franchise, which then means you need to attract those owners, etc.
 

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Moving to Hartford is one of those idiotic moves a team can talk themselves into only to find out it is a disaster.
 
At the end of the day who wants to drive to Hartford at 7 PM at night?
 

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TomRicardo said:
Moving to Hartford is one of those idiotic moves a team can talk themselves into only to find out it is a disaster.
 
At the end of the day who wants to drive to Hartford at 7 PM at night?
Well at least you'll have the roads to yourself.
 

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TomRicardo said:
Moving to Hartford is one of those idiotic moves a team can talk themselves into only to find out it is a disaster.
 
At the end of the day who wants to drive to Hartford at 7 PM at night?
 
From the other side, a development like this could do wonders for the city's attempts at revitalization. There is a 3-4 block chunk of Hartford that is now very nice to visit, even at night. It's been an incredibly slow process, and it may still fall flat on its face, but getting the Red Sox to plant their AAA team in the city may be the kind of thing they need to tip the scales over the long haul.
 

mabrowndog

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FelixMantilla said:
Moving the PawSox would be a good way to piss off every Sox fan in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts.
 
Yeah, but they'd gain back all the fans they pissed off in Connecticut after the AA club moved from New Britain to Trenton 20 years ago.
 

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It's hard to evaluate a deal without even knowing the basic terms (purchase price, identity of the buyers, etc.), but I think an investment by H/W/L in the Pawsox makes a move to Hartford less likely. 
 
The Red Sox are worth more than $1b. The Pawsox are probably worth something like $30mm. No one thinks that everyone in RI and southeastern MA will suddenly start rooting for the Mets if the Pawsox move to Hartford, but even a negative effect that's barely measurable could easily outweigh the gains.
 

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Not sure about today, but the Yankees in the past had a decent following in RI. Well behind the Sox but not insignificant. Half my family of Rhode Islanders are Yankees fans, and I knew plenty as a kid in the 80s/90s. These things can certainly change. Then again, like Sox fans, there are Yankees fans everywhere. I wouldn't put it beyond the Yankees or even the Mets to move an affiliate to Pawtucket if the Sox pulled out.
 

mabrowndog

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smastroyin said:
As far as I can tell the PawSox are the only AAA team within an hour of MLB.
 
Gwinnett (Lawrenceville GA, in Atlanta's northeast suburbs) is only 36 miles from Turner Field, and about the same road distance from the Braves' new stadium near the I-75/I-285 interchange.
 
Of course, depending on time of day, it can take over 2 hours to travel one way on either of those routes. But for the purpose of shuttling players, scouts and staff between those parks, if you avoid the morning & evening commutes it's a half-hour trip.
 
And that's all I have to add to your otherwise awesome post.
 

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OK gang, here is some info I got from someone who works at McCoy. According to my source, Larry Lucchino is buying 60% of the Paw Sox, along with with other minority owners. He didn't know who the minority owners were.
 

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That would jibe with the reports that he is taking less responsibility on Yawkey Way.  Curious what his direction will be.  
 

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If Lucchino is involved, a move or stadium renovation is probably in the cards.
 

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JimD said:
If Lucchino is involved, a move or stadium renovation is probably in the cards.
The story I linked to above has some Pawtucket city minion saying they had been in talks with the Paw Sox about doing some sort of "Patriot Place" type thing around the park, on a smaller scale of course. If the city is wiling to sacrifice the adjacent athletic field, there is some room to play with. If they really want to do something, they would need to look at the industrial space just north east of McCoy where the old Hasbro factory is. Those are being used, but probably moveable for the right price. I don't see them tearing down the Middle School/Elementary school combo on the northwest lots.
 
You can see the map below.
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.8747525,-71.3682852,814m/data=!3m1!1e3
 

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Spacemans Bong said:
And not a single one of them will stop rooting for the Red Sox, while they might actually pick up new fans in Connecticut.
 
No one in New England is going to change their Major League team because of where AAA team is.  That said no one in RI or Eastern mass is going to drive to Hartford to see Hartford Red Sox.  
 

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Brohamer of the Gods said:
The story I linked to above has some Pawtucket city minion saying they had been in talks with the Paw Sox about doing some sort of "Patriot Place" type thing around the park, on a smaller scale of course. If the city is wiling to sacrifice the adjacent athletic field, there is some room to play with. If they really want to do something, they would need to look at the industrial space just north east of McCoy where the old Hasbro factory is. Those are being used, but probably moveable for the right price. I don't see them tearing down the Middle School/Elementary school combo on the northwest lots.
 
You can see the map below.
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.8747525,-71.3682852,814m/data=!3m1!1e3
Yeah a big problem they have is with capture. People going to pawsox games don't stay or arrive early to spend money in town. In fact there is very little economic benefit to the town right now other than direct taxes.

Part of the problem is that they are so family friendly as I noted. This was a mandate from the Mondors but not the ideal situation for economic development of the team or surrounding area.

Of course the next roadblock is that the stadium location may not be convenient enough to support the development or encourage outside investment. A better chance would probably come moving the team to providence (195 land) or even a relocation within Pawtucket. Outside of the parking problem and the fact that I think the building should be preserved, a stadium on the parcel where the Ann and Hope building is would allow a nice riverfront park.
 

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I doubt it would happen but taking a team from Rhode Island and putting it in a state where it's 50/50 sox and yanks fans is a wise move long term.
Would it cause an adult to switch allegiances? Of course not. But it can't hurt in planting seeds in kids. Let's face it lots of kids go to ML games - at least they do in New Britain.
Connecticut is the battleground of the sox/NY rivalry, and we all know lucchino loves sticking it to NY. I'm not counting on it but I would love a move to CT
 

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Leon Trotsky said:
Do you mean the Apex building? I've always envisioned that being a perfect location for the Pawsox. 
Yes sorry, brainfart.
 

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TomRicardo said:
 
No one in New England is going to change their Major League team because of where AAA team is.  That said no one in RI or Eastern mass is going to drive to Hartford to see Hartford Red Sox.  
The teams success or failure in CT would have nothing to do with support from RI just as they currently don't depend on fans from CT.
CT is a big baseball state, they would be supported if they came here IMO
 

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smastroyin said:
Yeah a big problem they have is with capture. People going to pawsox games don't stay or arrive early to spend money in town. In fact there is very little economic benefit to the town right now other than direct taxes.

Part of the problem is that they are so family friendly as I noted. This was a mandate from the Mondors but not the ideal situation for economic development of the team or surrounding area.

Of course the next roadblock is that the stadium location may not be convenient enough to support the development or encourage outside investment. A better chance would probably come moving the team to providence (195 land) or even a relocation within Pawtucket. Outside of the parking problem and the fact that I think the building should be preserved, a stadium on the parcel where the Ann and Hope building is would allow a nice riverfront park.
Yeah, a quick look at the google map shows the current stadium footprint would fit at Apex - tight, no room for anything else, and no parking but it would fit. Maybe a parking tower across the street where the Sawyer School was? The other similar location would be just south of Apex, below the Division St Bridge on the east side of the river. The city had a request for proposals for 10 acres there last year, but I don't know if anything came of it.

Having spent many a day working at Slater Mill, I can attest to the fact that downtown Pawtucket is deader than vaudeville
 

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Leon Trotsky said:
Do you mean the Apex building? I've always envisioned that being a perfect location for the Pawsox. 
Although now that he mentions is, Ann & Hope (or the old Drive-in land) in Cumberland would be a good spot too. I also think Providence waterfront would be ideal for something (i've thought that could be a good alternative for the Revolution if a Boston stadium doesn't come to pass).
The issues with both would be building from scratch vs. renovating and developing an existing stadium. If they add a couple of dining and drinking options other than the tiny Galway Bay(former Left field), people will come, and spend. 
 

steveluck7

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Brohamer of the Gods said:
Yeah, a quick look at the google map shows the current stadium footprint would fit at Apex - tight, no room for anything else, and no parking but it would fit. Maybe a parking tower across the street where the Sawyer School was? The other similar location would be just south of Apex, below the Division St Bridge on the east side of the river. The city had a request for proposals for 10 acres there last year, but I don't know if anything came of it.

Having spent many a day working at Slater Mill, I can attest to the fact that downtown Pawtucket is deader than vaudeville
That land on the other side of Division street is still slated to become a hotel, as far as i know