PawSox now looking at sites in Pawtucket

Zomp

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Hank Scorpio said:
For what it's worth, it's about a 15 minute walk from the Commuter Rail to the proposed new park site.
 
Current commuter rail resources and schedules don't really make it feasible for people to utilize it en masse to head down to RI to catch a ball game. I wonder if something could be worked out. Seems too complicated.
 
 
Not that it matters much, but I think 15 minutes is a little generous.  I'd say more like 25.
 
Could they work something out with JWU and utilize their parking lots at night?  Could be a nice stream of revenue for the school as well...
 
To me, they'd ideally work something out with Pawtucket and keep McCoy.  Maybe add a small shopping center with restaurants or something.  Its a great little ballpark with cheap prices and free parking.  They are talking about moving the stadium less than 5 miles to an area that doesn't really need it.  Take half of the money required and make McCoy the gem of minor league ballparks.
 

Brohamer of the Gods

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Carmen Fanzone said:
You mean like building a 9,000 seat stadium when 10,000 is the accepted minimum for AAA teams?

"No thanks, we really see ourselves as a THIRD tier city."
Worse than that, you need 10,000 seats for AAA. (McCoy has 10,031 seats plus the berm). The Hartford stadium currently calls for 6,000 seats plus a berm.
 

8slim

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Brohamer of the Gods said:
Worse than that, you need 10,000 seats for AAA. (McCoy has 10,031 seats plus the berm). The Hartford stadium currently calls for 6,000 seats plus a berm.
I think the current state of CT is summed up perfectly by seeing a city that 17 years ago housed a team in one of the four major sports now building a ballpark for a AA team that is being stolen from a city 12 miles away.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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TomTerrific said:
 
 
Did either of you get the lifetime pass that I heard was awarded to the fans who stuck it out to the bitter end? Or were you just there for the finishing inning (which was played on a later date, right?)
Just the finishing inning for me as well. My brother got us tickets when he found out when the game was being continued.

Would have been great to have got those lifetime passes!
 

Return of the Dewey

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Bone Chips said:
To understand just how inept the political leaders in Hartford are, read this article. http://www.courant.com/sports/baseball/hc-pawtucket-red-sox-moving-0224-20150223-story.html

I just sent Thomas Deller an email imploring him to open negotiations with the PawSox. Screw the Rock Cats. Nobody wants to see the double-A team for the Colorado Rockies.

Hartfordites - let your voice be heard!!! Send Tom Deller an email - tdeller@hartford.gov. Let's reverse what Kraft did to us in 1998.
 
Growing up in CT in the '80s, I loved going to see Bristol (and New Britain) Red Sox games.  Sadly, that ship has sailed with respect to the Hartford Stadium...it's too bad because I think it could have really help to ensure that the stadium was successful.
 

OCST

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Zomp said:
 
 
Not that it matters much, but I think 15 minutes is a little generous.  I'd say more like 25.
 
Could they work something out with JWU and utilize their parking lots at night?  Could be a nice stream of revenue for the school as well...
 
To me, they'd ideally work something out with Pawtucket and keep McCoy.  Maybe add a small shopping center with restaurants or something.  Its a great little ballpark with cheap prices and free parking.  They are talking about moving the stadium less than 5 miles to an area that doesn't really need it.  Take half of the money required and make McCoy the gem of minor league ballparks.
 
Refurbishment/rehab of an old building can be much more expensive than building from scratch, and I suspect it would be here.
 

Brohamer of the Gods

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There also only so much that can be done at McCoy because it is built on top of an old pond. They spent years draining Hammond Pond, and then poured tons of steel, cement, and gravel into the piers holding up the stadium. One of the reasons they have just the party tent along the right field line is that soil tests there in 1993 showed they couldn't build a planned 2,500 seat expansion over it. That is also why the dugouts are at field level.
 

Leon Trotsky

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OilCanShotTupac said:
 
Refurbishment/rehab of an old building can be much more expensive than building from scratch, and I suspect it would be here.
 
It can also be much much less. Gut adaptive reuse rehabs (granted, multi-family residential) are 30-40% less than new construction in MA. Considering the good condition and relative modernity of McCoy, refurbishment there would likely be much cheaper than building new in PVD.
 

steveluck7

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Leon Trotsky said:
 
It can also be much much less. Gut adaptive reuse rehabs (granted, multi-family residential) are 30-40% less than new construction in MA. Considering the good condition and relative modernity of McCoy, refurbishment there would likely be much cheaper than building new in PVD.
McCoy itslef was built in 1943. As Bro mentioned above, the ground is not really conducive to much more in the way of additions. The current footprint of the coincourse area really couldn't be widened without either significantly reducing seating capacity or blowing out the "back" wall and taking over some of the (precious little) on-site parking
 

Bone Chips

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Brohamer of the Gods said:
Worse than that, you need 10,000 seats for AAA. (McCoy has 10,031 seats plus the berm). The Hartford stadium currently calls for 6,000 seats plus a berm.
 
6,000 seats, with capacity for 8,000- 9,000.  Which would support the average attendance last year at McCoy (7.376).
 
I agree the ship has sailed on any potential Hartford deal.  My point was, had Deller and Hartford officials been paying attention they could have possibly constructed a deal to bring the big fish - the PawSox - to Hartford instead of the Rock Cats.  They managed to swing the construction of a downtown stadium with total capacity of 9,000 and the potential for expansion later, and that was with the end prize of the Colorado Rockies' AA team. Good article on this by a guy with the foresight to have seen this last June - http://touch.courant.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-82896174/
 
And I know it's fashionable to crap on Hartford, but there's a decent argument to be made that Hartford would have been a great home for the AAA affiliate of the Red Sox.  In addition to the historical context I outlined above, Hartford ranks favorably based on economic numbers as well:
 
Ranked by population, metro Hartford -- comprising Hartford, Tolland and Middlesex counties -- is larger than all but 13 of the 28 Triple-A markets that do not also have a major league franchise. And ranked by economic size, or share of gross domestic product, this region is larger than all but 10 of those 28 markets.
 
I think the opportunity was there, but it would have required a leader with vision.  I don't know this guy Deller at all, but his statement in the Courant article I linked to yesterday says it all:
 
But Hartford officials say the city was never an option for that team. Despite the considerable Red Sox fan base in Connecticut, Thomas Deller, Hartford's director of development services, said the city never pursued talks with the franchise.  "We never talked with them," he said Monday."We were in discussions with [another] team. [The Rock Cats] approached us. They were talking to us. Why pursue someone else? As far as we knew at the time, the [Pawtucket Red Sox] were not looking to move."
 
Great job of doing the bare minimum here, and not looking at the bigger picture.  Hartford needed a visionary, but unfortunately the closest thing we've had to that the last 40 years (John Rowland) has been having his visions in a 10x15 prison cell.
 

Carmen Fanzone

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Why not just get the Scranton AAA team to move? Call them Connecticut Yankees, for the Twain connection. Build a rivalry with the RI Red Sox?
 

Return of the Dewey

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Carmen Fanzone said:
Why not just get the Scranton AAA team to move? Call them Connecticut Yankees, for the Twain connection. Build a rivalry with the RI Red Sox?
 
That wouldn't be a bad idea either.  I would suspect that the Metro Hartford area is pretty evenly split between Sox and Yankee fans.
 

StuckOnYouk

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Why pursue someone else? What a bafoon.

These idiots should have been knocking down The Sox door the second the Bristol/New Britain Red Sox left town to get a Sox franchise back.

But no need to revisit the days where guys like rice, Lynn, Clemens, Boggs, etc played in our backyard. I mean who would want that.

And I'm sure I'm in the minority but it would have been a great move by the Sox to plant the Pawsox flag smack dab in the middle of the sox/Yankees rivalry.
 

smastroyin

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There is every chance that the PawSox would not have been sold to a group that was taking them out of state.  Given the RI connections of the purchasing group, I see no reason to reject this idea.  And yes, I realize that a Hartford group could have approached the PawSox, lied about their intentions, and pulled an Irsay.
 

FelixMantilla

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http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/25/sports/baseball/through-years-of-change-pawtucket-ri-always-had-mccoy-stadium.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0
 
 
But do the new owners understand Pawtucket tradition? Do they know why free parking matters, and having boy and girl scouts camp overnight on the outfield grass, and being able to take a family of six to a ballgame without stopping first to pawn an heirloom?
 
 
 
Damn, I'm going to miss the place.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Played RI state high school playoff game there (or more accurately watched in from the bench) in1979.

Drank plenty of .75 Heinekens there that summer.

Good times...
 

JimD

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FelixMantilla said:
 
This is silly.  Someone please show me the minor-league teams that can get away with charging 20 or 30 bucks a ticket.  I've never paid more than ten bucks to attend a MiLB game, and often have taken advantage of freebie tickets, 2-for-1 deals, etc. when bringing my kids. The new owners can still do the overnight sleepovers in the new stadium.  McCoy has always been a nice little place to catch a game, but it's not some sort of hallowed ground.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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FelixMantilla said:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/25/sports/baseball/through-years-of-change-pawtucket-ri-always-had-mccoy-stadium.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0
 
 
But do the new owners understand Pawtucket tradition? Do they know why free parking matters, and having boy and girl scouts camp overnight on the outfield grass, and being able to take a family of six to a ballgame without stopping first to pawn an heirloom?
 
 
 
Damn, I'm going to miss the place.
 
 
JimD said:
 
This is silly.  Someone please show me the minor-league teams that can get away with charging 20 or 30 bucks a ticket.  I've never paid more than ten bucks to attend a MiLB game, and often have taken advantage of freebie tickets, 2-for-1 deals, etc. when bringing my kids. The new owners can still do the overnight sleepovers in the new stadium.  McCoy has always been a nice little place to catch a game, but it's not some sort of hallowed ground.
 
I'm guessing yes, the new owners are familiar with the traditions of the Pawsox.  And if they aren't, retaining Tamburro and Schwechheimer kind of makes it impossible for them not to know.
 

RIFan

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I grew up within walking distance of McCoy. When I was younger, they used to have our local little league over to work out with the players. I remember spending a good amount of time throwing on the bullpen mound with John Tudor. The fireworks are a beloved tradition in Pawtucket. My family still has an annual reunion going on 46 years where we all come together at a nearby relatives house to celebrate the 4th together and watch the fireworks.The community aspect of the park can never be duplicated.

The Providence Bruins are able to average 8000 fans a night with tickets priced starting at $27 each. The average paid price is probably about $20 when you account for all the discounts. It's unrealistic to think that the new owners won't drive towards that number. I'm sure they'll be more creative with marketing and come up with promotions and other ways to keep the price lower, but it will drive away the spur of the moment family experience to take in a game on a nice night. You can't base expected ticket prices based on minor league prices. Using other markets as a comparison would make the current Fenway prices unrealistic.

Ultimately, I think it's more likely they'll end up anywhere other than RI. The state's a political and financial mess. Everyone will have their hand out looking for something in return for supporting a new stadium project. I can't see how they get anything done in a reasonable enough time to prevent ownership from basically opening up a bidding process with other cities.
 

The Allented Mr Ripley

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There are a lot fewer Providence Bruins games, though, so higher priced tickets for those makes more sense. I can't see the pricing structure for the relocated PawSox increasing that much.
 

esfr

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I went to college in Providence in the 80s and got a degree in Urban Studies - spent most of my 4 years with Providence as my lab - including the major issue and project of the time the opening and relocation of the Woonasquatucket and Moshassuck Rivers which feed into the Providence River downtown, and ultimately Narragansett Bay.  It's hard to imagine but the Rivers had been decked over with asphalt/concrete in the middle part of the 20th century.  Downtown was absolutely dead.  The revitalization that has occurred downtown since that time is a great small city success story. I think the area being contemplated for relocation has the potential to be a win win. A downtown providence location would draw from potential fan base in the immediate neighborhoods that don't consider Pawtucket an option.  Providence doesn't have an insecurity complex or identity crisis.  The city and it's community understand what its appeal is relative to larger, more urban and less affordable cities.  I'd be surprised if they didn't treat affordability of the entire experience as a serious issue.  Sentimentality aside this has the potential to be good business and reasonably sound urban planning.  
 

moondog80

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RIFan said:
The Providence Bruins are able to average 8000 fans a night with tickets priced starting at $27 each. The average paid price is probably about $20 when you account for all the discounts. It's unrealistic to think that the new owners won't drive towards that number. I'm sure they'll be more creative with marketing and come up with promotions and other ways to keep the price lower, but it will drive away the spur of the moment family experience to take in a game on a nice night. You can't base expected ticket prices based on minor league prices. Using other markets as a comparison would make the current Fenway prices unrealistic.
 
Well, the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL sell tix $20-$30, while the Syracuse Chiefs are priced similar to the PawSox.  The Hershey Bears sell for $17-27 while the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs are priced....similar to the PawSox.  I think minor league hockey just costs more than minor league baseball.  I'll be very surprised if there's a big price increase, that would be a PR disaster.
 

JimD

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So, let's pretend that the Pawtucket Red Sox never existed and the greater Providence area had just landed a AAA team.  The stadium location options have been narrowed down to two choice:
 
a.) A location near downtown with good access to the city's transit network and the MBTA commuter rail, and the possibility of the city skyline and/or the bay as an outfield backdrop
 
or
 
b.), A location in a struggling adjacent older community that would cost less to build and feature free parking, but had poor highway access, terrible transit access and a backdrop of truck terminals and industrial buildings
 
Would anyone choose option b?
 

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Well, fwiw, the independent league St. Paul Saints are just finishing a new ballpark near downtown.  Full season tickets for box seats behind home plate cost about $24 each.  There is club seating and some suites that cost substantially more.  They have 9-game mini-packs on sale for seats down the lines that cost $13/ticket in the OF, $15 in the infield.  Not sure what individual game tix will cost.  Probably a buck more for those areas.  So, not outrageous, but more than they used to cost - about $10 more for those good seats.  And keep in mind that you can get Twins upper deck tix for as little as $6 for "value" games, and something like $16 for premium games.  So the market is lower than Boston-Providence.
 
I bet the seats behind home plate at the new AAA location will cost $25-30 for STHs.  They'll have some other premium/club areas that cost even more.
 

kwa1430

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JimD said:
So, let's pretend that the Pawtucket Red Sox never existed and the greater Providence area had just landed a AAA team.  The stadium location options have been narrowed down to two choice:
 
a.) A location near downtown with good access to the city's transit network and the MBTA commuter rail, and the possibility of the city skyline and/or the bay as an outfield backdrop
 
or
 
b.), A location in a struggling adjacent older community that would cost less to build and feature free parking, but had poor highway access, terrible transit access and a backdrop of truck terminals and industrial buildings
 
Would anyone choose option 
 
I grew near McCoy and have fond memories of watching many afternoon games in the summer with my grandfather however a Providence location would be a better option.  McCoy is not a good location for a stadium and makes more sense in the revitalized downtown.  I am looking forward to the new stadium in Providence.
 

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Leon Trotsky

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dynomite said:
The centerfield "bleachers" are a grassy lawn that families bring beach blankets and sit on for something like $6/ticket.
 
 
You mean like what exists right now in McCoy, 7 miles away from where the proposed park might go??
 
In the grand scheme of things, this will be fine. But what makes the PawSox and McCoy great, the working class, everyman aspect of it that is related to Fenway and the Red Sox, but so completely different and from another era, will be gone forever.
 
(as an aside, there is a lot of talk about the PVD stadium being close to MBTA commuter rail, but the proposed Pawtucket/CF train station will be nearly the exact same distance from McCoy)
 

smastroyin

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The proposed site was the old train station off of Broad St.  (near Barton).
 
However, that idea is mostly dead, they are looking at a new location, which is the area at the end of Pine St., behind Armando's Meats.  Doesn't really change the point of walking distance.
 

NortheasternPJ

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I'm shocked we're half way through page 2 and no Manny memories. From the great Steve Buckley:
 
 "If he could stay in Pawtucket, and make $20M a year, he'd do it" 
 

charlieoscar

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dynomite said:
The model to my mind is the AAA Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals) stadium, which sits in the middle of downtown Memphis and is an incredible place to watch a game. The centerfield "bleachers" are a grassy lawn that families bring beach blankets and sit on for something like $6/ticket....
 
One of the more interesting things about the stadium is that until recently it was owned by a community not-for-profit organization. Our baseball weekend group had our annual get-together there in 2004 and got a complete tour of the facility. It was better than some MLB parks I've seen,
 

HriniakPosterChild

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PawSox stadium proposal faces possible federal roadblock
 

The new owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox face a possible roadblock in their plan to build a new stadium for the Triple-A franchise in Providence.
 
That 4.8-acre plot along the Providence River mentioned as a possible site for the new ballpark is designated for use as a public park in a plan the Federal Highway Administration approved in 1997 as part of the relocation of a section of Interstate 195.
 

P'tucket rhymes with...

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phenweigh

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Papelbon's Poutine said:
How does dignity fit in here? They are there to best prepare for being a Boston Red Sox. The way pitchers approach hitters, hitters approach pitchers, baserunners proceed, OFs play the wall or the RF corner, relays and back ups set up.... A lot is different about playing in Fenway and a lot of advantage can be gained by having your call ups be ready for that from day one. I could care less if the players find it undignified. If they're building a new park that will presumably be the home of Boston's AAA affiliate for a long long time, I'd rather see a Fenway replica than some generic cookie cutter. Quite frankly I think they should buy all their minor league affiliates and make all the ballparks as close as a replica to Fenway as they can fiscally justify.
+1  And in addition to the practical benefits, I suspect for some players at least, the are psychological benefits to having the playing field be familiar surroundings.
 

The Allented Mr Ripley

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On the other hand, I'm not sure I want impressionable young players adjusting their swings to Fenway's dimensions. They need the minors to learn how to hit, period, and muddying that up by placing a tantalizing wall 315 feet away can be dangerous.
 

Spacemans Bong

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Building each minor league park to look like Fenway seems like a really good idea if we want to return to the 70s where every Sox hitter had about a 200 point drop in OPS away from Fenway Park. Let's save the money and just have all the organization's coaches teach right handers to pull the ball on every pitch.
 

charlieoscar

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If the Red Sox have all their minor league parks look like Fenway wouldn't that limit the "attractiveness" of said parks to other organizations should an affiliate decide they want to sever their relationship with Boston? It may not matter if Red Sox personnel are the principal shareholders but the club does have a history of having affiliates declining to renew (Lynchburg, Wilmington, Trenton off the top of my head). And even if Boston has a majority ownership, there could be problems if local money decides to back out.