The AAA Sox Stadium Thread: Where Ever They May Roam

Brohamer of the Gods

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Word is out of a new Paw Sox stadium to be built in Pawtucket at the old Apex site. This is an idea that some of us were kicking around during the Providence stadium proposal days.

Not a lot of details in this report, such as cost and who is paying for it. I had a broad hint about this the other night at my father's wake from a contact who works for the team. He didn't mention the site, but this was my first guess.

http://turnto10.com/news/local/report-pawsox-considering-apex-site-for-stadium
 

Brohamer of the Gods

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Interesting to see if the Paw Sox can live with this, and/or will Pawtucket pick up some more. The important bit I see buried here is this quote

"Only new tax revenue generated in and around the stadium, and set aside in a tax increment financing arrangement, will be used to pay off the public portion of the bond payments."

Is there anything on how big that special tax district around the stadium is? I can state with great certainty that the 5+ acres just northwest of the Apex site (AKA Slater Mill) won't help the cause very much.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Is there anything on how big that special tax district around the stadium is? I can state with great certainty that the 5+ acres just northwest of the Apex site (AKA Slater Mill) won't help the cause very much.
On the other hand if it includes The Guild (Narragansett Brewery) further up Main Street, there is a good amount of revenue. That taproom does quite well already without other nearby attractions, and being a 10-minute walk from the stadium site the PawSox and Gansett would have a symbiotic relationship.
 

Brohamer of the Gods

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They have been talking about a mix of retail and restaurants as the first floor of the proposed parking garages across the street from the stadium site. There is also the development of new appartments/condos on the riverfront downstream. Those would help. Otherwise there is nothing of value in the immediate vacinity besides the yarn store. I presume the hotel and adjacent bar on the other side of the highway bridge will be in play too.
 

terrynever

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I was talking to a city councilman the other day about plans for development around the stadium. He said the PawSox and city will collaborate, seeking out small businesses that want to join in the redevelopment downtown, around the stadium. Both the team and the city have employees trained in commerce and marketing. It will be interesting to see who buys in. Likely prospects are Dunk 'N Donuts and CVS because they are everywhere as it is.

The PawSox have strong ties to the business community in northern R.I. Just look at the signage on the scoreboard and outfield fence. A few of those businesses might want to switch locations and move downtown.

Can the city convince a hotel chain to commit to downtown? Currently, the only hotel inside the city is a Hampton Inn located two blocks from downtown, on George Street. There is room for another even closer to the stadium, just across I-95. From my unsolicited vantage point, it seemingly would be an ominous failure if the city cannot lure another hotel to Pawtucket, near the ballpark.

My optimism comes from knowing that the PawSox franchise is led by some big-time talent. Larry Lucchino has led projects that built stadiums in Baltimore and San Diego. He headed the renovation of Fenway Park. His architect for those projects, Janet Marie Smith, will lead the design team for this ballpark.

Rhode Island politicians should be impressed with the quality of people involved with the PawSox stadium proposal. Instead, they worried about getting burned again. Comparing Curt Schilling's proposal for 38 Studios to this PawSox project is just laughable. Lucchino and Dr. Charles Steinberg are major leaguers who for some reason ended up in Pawtucket, still loving baseball, and trying to revitalize a minor league franchise and the city it calls home.

https://www.milb.com/pawtucket/news/janet-marie-smith-to-assist-pawsox-planning--development-team/c-244802400
 

Brohamer of the Gods

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For years there was talk of putting a hotel along east bank of the river on Division St - used to be a car dealer there. Never got anywhere. Both CVS and Dunkin have closed locations on Main Street within two blocks of Apex in the past 15 years or so. I spend quite a bit of time at Slater Mill, so I know the walkable area on the west bank of the river quite well. I have a direct view of the Apex ziggurat from my office window there.
 

terrynever

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For years there was talk of putting a hotel along east bank of the river on Division St - used to be a car dealer there. Never got anywhere. Both CVS and Dunkin have closed locations on Main Street within two blocks of Apex in the past 15 years or so. I spend quite a bit of time at Slater Mill, so I know the walkable area on the west bank of the river quite well. I have a direct view of the Apex ziggurat from my office window there.
The most interesting part of the ballpark project could very well be this development aspect around the stadium. What will the city and the PawSox come up with?
 

Brohamer of the Gods

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I am very interested in that angle, because downtown Pawtucket is deader than vaudeville. We haven't heard anything beyond broad plans, though we were approached about allowing fireworks to be launched from the Slater Mill parking lot. We declined the offer of having colored balls of fire shot over a 225 year old wooden building.
 

Beomoose

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Thanks for the updates, folks, keep them coming. Really pulling for Pawtucket to end up with a nice park and more.
I am very interested in that angle, because downtown Pawtucket is deader than vaudeville. We haven't heard anything beyond broad plans, though we were approached about allowing fireworks to be launched from the Slater Mill parking lot. We declined the offer of having colored balls of fire shot over a 225 year old wooden building.
Having almost lost a building of similar vintage to arson some years ago, I concur that fire bad.
 

terrynever

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I am very interested in that angle, because downtown Pawtucket is deader than vaudeville. We haven't heard anything beyond broad plans, though we were approached about allowing fireworks to be launched from the Slater Mill parking lot. We declined the offer of having colored balls of fire shot over a 225 year old wooden building.
I guess a fireworks launching pad for the new stadium would have to be located on the other side of 95. That could be dangerous for traffic. Stadium location could jeopardize Slater Mill. Interesting.
 

Brohamer of the Gods

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Oh we're not worried about it jeopardizing the Mill - we just won't have fireworks shot off here. The folks here are very interested at the prospect of having a couple of thousand people walking by 70 dates a year.
 

Brohamer of the Gods

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Oh, and a marching band to play the National Anthem, and some dude in a Chik Fil A cow costume threw an opening pitch that actually reached the plate on the fly, not bad for wearing a cow costume glove.
 

terrynever

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Not much new here, but interesting quote from Int. League President who is concerned the new deal could leave the team over extended, and more importantly set a new precedent of how much money teams spend on their stadium.

http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20180608/pawsox-expect-more-tweaks-to-mattiellos-stadium-financing-plan
That quote jumped out at me, too. Has a group of owners ever voted against a new stadium deal for one of their colleagues? I doubt it.

I think it's just another way of telling RI legislators that the PawSox are giving them a great deal.
 

terrynever

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Oh, and a marching band to play the National Anthem, and some dude in a Chik Fil A cow costume threw an opening pitch that actually reached the plate on the fly, not bad for wearing a cow costume glove.
The first pitch throwers are funny. I watched a ceremony recently where the President of Collette Travel, a tall and athletic looking guy, bounced his throw to the plate and acted genuinely frustrated with himself. Then a radio guy, Ron St. Pierre, walked over and threw a perfect strike. He was thrilled. Grown men in their 60s and the act of throwing a baseball accurately still means so much.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Also today, like every Sunday, Kids run the bases after the game. We looked online for tix this morning and there were very few reserved seats available, so the marketing is working.
 

Brohamer of the Gods

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I was there with the little league, who sold $10 GA tix as a fundraiser. The league kept $5 per ticket and there was a $2 food coupon on each one as well, so they only made $3 a head on those tickets.

Also, my youngest got a card at school where he and one adult get in free to every game, and get a $5 voucher. They are definitely going full court press on drumming up public good will.
 

terrynever

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I was there with the little league, who sold $10 GA tix as a fundraiser. The league kept $5 per ticket and there was a $2 food coupon on each one as well, so they only made $3 a head on those tickets.

Also, my youngest got a card at school where he and one adult get in free to every game, and get a $5 voucher. They are definitely going full court press on drumming up public good will.
My experience is the PawSox have always tried to do good things for the public. I worked as an usher at McCoy, briefly, in 2012 and they did a lot of this pre game stuff back then, but new ownership has ramped it up even more with kids introducing themselves by name as their image flashes on the scoreboard video. The new owners have a deeper staff of administrative personnel than the old regime had.
 

terrynever

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We are now waiting the team owners' approval of the stadium deal passed by the R.I. House and Senate last night.
As a Pawtucket resident, this feels like the city now has a chance to revitalize a downtown that died 40 years ago.
Below is an email from the Mayor's office. Don Grebien worked his ass off to keep the PawSox in Pawtucket, and so did Larry Lucchino, Mike Tamburro, Dr. Charles Steinberg, and state Senator Bill Conley of East Providence -- to mention a few key names.



Rhode Island House and Senate Overwhelmingly Approve the Ballpark at Slater Mill


After 3 years of working with the PawSox and a year of legislative hearings, last night, Mayor Grebien was present at the State House for the hearing and debate on the Ballpark at Slater Mill. The House of Representatives and the Senate overwhelmingly approved the enabling legislation for the downtown ballpark.

"Since day one, this has been about the economic development of Pawtucket, the opportunity to revitalize our downtown, and keeping our iconic Pawtucket Red Sox here in Rhode Island," said Mayor Grebien. "I applaud the Senate and the House for holding numerous public hearings, allowing public input, expert testimony, and ultimately approving this project. We will make the residents of Pawtucket and the people of Rhode Island proud."

This project would not have been possible without the support of the Pawtucket community and the Blackstone Valley from the Council, to my fellow mayors, residents, businesses, the Pawtucket 2020, our youth, labor and organizations across the state.

The Senate's version, passed in January, was revised by the House and structured to repay borrowing for the construction of the ballpark with revenue from the team and tax collections generated from an area surrounding the stadium. The framework still keeps in place the team's commitment to $12 million toward the project upfront and $45 million overall.

Mayor Grebien added "Now that the City and the Team have the enabling legislation in-hand, we can continue our discussions regarding the proposal and get to work on the bonding structure, planning and development right away. The Team has been willing partners with us every step of the way. Their commitment to Pawtucket and their fans has kept them here for over 40 years and we look forward to keeping them here for the next generation."
 
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CYaz

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That is fantastic news. Thank you for the updates for those of us no longer in the area. Fingers crossed that this project goes relatively smoothly.
 

Sea Bass

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I want them to stay in Pawtucket but I don't think this deal is feasible. The RI House bill added upwards of $54 million in debt service when they shifted the risk from the state to the city of Pawtucket. There is zero chance that either the PawSox or IL sign off on that sort of deal.
 

terrynever

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PawSox drew 10,086 fans for Saturday night's game with Syracuse, proving the fan base is still out there, despite an ordinary team devoid of name prospects. Fireworks attracted a good part of that number, for sure.

Pols like GOP gubernatorial candidate Patricia Morgan often cited declining attendance all over minor league baseball as a good reason to doubt whether the stadium deal will ever pay itself off. The numbers do not lie. But the fans are still out there, waiting for a reason to attend. The new stadium will attract old and new fans for the first year or two. And then it's up to the franchise to make them want to come back.

Saturday's crowd proves this is not a moribund franchise.
 

Brohamer of the Gods

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I might be the only person here interested in the new pedestrian bridge. There really isn't a good view of the falls unless you crawl down the riprap behind the hydro plant.

I hope this works out. I enjoy going to the Paw Sox and I know that downtown Pawtucket needs something to give it a pulse.BTW, for those who don't know there is still a vestige of an Apex store in operation there. I wandered in one day - it is about 2,000 sq/ft of mixed clothing and small appliances with one clerk behind a desk who seemed startled by visitors.
 

Ale Xander

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I might be the only person here interested in the new pedestrian bridge. There really isn't a good view of the falls unless you crawl down the riprap behind the hydro plant.

I hope this works out. I enjoy going to the Paw Sox and I know that downtown Pawtucket needs something to give it a pulse.BTW, for those who don't know there is still a vestige of an Apex store in operation there. I wandered in one day - it is about 2,000 sq/ft of mixed clothing and small appliances with one clerk behind a desk who seemed startled by visitors.
You're not. I love pedestrian bridges. They're my favorite form of infrastructure spending. It's one of the most efficient uses of public money, too.
 

terrynever

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You're not. I love pedestrian bridges. They're my favorite form of infrastructure spending. It's one of the most efficient uses of public money, too.
A new train stop on the Providence/Boston line will open in 2020 on the Central Falls/Pawtucket border, about a 300-yard walk down the hill to the new stadium.
 

luckiestman

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I happened to be visiting family in Newport Friday/Saturday and the way local news was going live to the state legislature late Friday night surprised me. They were covering it like it was the Senate Heath Care vote. I did not know it was that big of a deal.


I hope it works out.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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True, but not many years back a
A new train stop on the Providence/Boston line will open in 2020 on the Central Falls/Pawtucket border, about a 300-yard walk down the hill to the new stadium.
This is great as I've met friends for games before at the S. Attleboro station, which isn't nearly as convenient
 

terrynever

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I happened to be visiting family in Newport Friday/Saturday and the way local news was going live to the state legislature late Friday night surprised me. They were covering it like it was the Senate Heath Care vote. I did not know it was that big of a deal.


I hope it works out.
"Hope" is the state slogan for Rhode Island but it's a misnomer. Years of political corruption and bad deals by politicians have turned most citizens into cynics. The specter of the failed 38 Studios deal made a new PawSox stadium proposal much more difficult to get through the legislature.

But there are valid reasons why hope need not be the driving force behind this new stadium succeeding and driving part of Pawtucket's economic rebirth. First off, the ownership and stadium-building teams for the PawSox are led by people who have been very successful in the big leagues. They have done this before, in Baltimore and San Diego.

Second: We hear so much about minor league attendance falling gradually each year. But when you look around the country, many franchises the size of Pawtucket are not located in baseball-oriented locales. If New England is the baseball-loving region we know it to be, attendance will surge when the new stadium opens. The PawSox have always drawn fans from Ct., Ma., and New Hampshire, not to mention RI. The holdover fans will obviously visit the new stadium. First-time fans will find their way to Pawtucket. Some of them may even come and go by train, as they do for the Boston Red Sox.

I am beyond merely hoping this deal will work, especially now that the political wheels have stopped turning. This whole thing makes sense to me from a baseball standpoint. And it makes sense to Pawtucket, which finally has an anchor to secure its economic turnaround.
 
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JimD

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Where the AAA Sox end up is a fairly essential thing for the MLB Sox. Hopefully we don't Ybor it up.
Worcester is equally convenient to Boston - it's not like the Mets getting stuck having their Triple-A team in Las Vegas.
 

moondog80

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Where the AAA Sox end up is a fairly essential thing for the MLB Sox. Hopefully we don't Ybor it up.
Looks like it will be Worcester or Pawtucket. I'm really hoping for the latter, but in terms of the big league club, I don't think it makes a difference.

Something of a tangent, but teams have gotten much smarter about having their AAA team in close proximity. For years the Sox had a small but real edge with their AAA team only an hour away, but the reshuffling of AAA teams in the past 20 years has seen moves like the Braves moving their team from Richmond to Gwinnett and the Yankees from Columbus to Scranton. There was a nice little map that displayed this, but I can't find it.
 

JimD

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Something of a tangent, but teams have gotten much smarter about having their AAA team in close proximity. For years the Sox had a small but real edge with their AAA team only an hour away, but the reshuffling of AAA teams in the past 20 years has seen moves like the Braves moving their team from Richmond to Gwinnett and the Yankees from Columbus to Scranton. There was a nice little map that displayed this, but I can't find it.
In a similar vein, the Mets actually bought the Syracuse franchise from the longtime community group that owned the team and will be moving their AAA club here for next season.
 

steveluck7

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Both are more or less equally distant from Boston, so no edge there, but the Providence metro area has 1.62 million people; Worcester has 942K.

(Aside: I didn't realize that Providence is the 4th largest metro area to not have a major league pro sports team, and bigger than places like Milwaukee, Memphis, and Jacksonville).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_metropolitan_statistical_areas
I've always thought Providence would be a great spot for the Revolution if they want to separate from Gillette and can't make Boston work out.
The Portuguese population alone in The PVD -- Fall River area would be a great start to a fanbase.

Of course, i saw this weekend that the Revs are building a training facility at Gillette so this doesn't matter!