The AAA Sox Stadium Thread: Where Ever They May Roam

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T&A
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If the main reason is that the Lucchino and crew do not trust RI politicians than they are completely on the ball.
This was the easiest ballpark deal to get done in history given what the owners were willing to do and as expected RI screwed it up.
I live in Nick Mattiello's district. He just squeaked out his last election and an eyeball count of the lawn signs for his opponent (same guy as last time) makes me think that this will be another very close contest. He was out going door to door in my neighborhood last time and I'm really hoping that he will be back in the next few weeks. It's not that I have a deep personal relationship with the Paw Sox but I'm very excited to laugh at him and call him an ahole now that we have a demonstrated case of actually accomplished and serious people telling him to go screw. I'm preparing a rant now in my head about not being about to watch baseball but still having to pay my car tax for the next 6 years.
 

Brohamer of the Gods

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Am I reading it right that the city is paying the entire costs of the stadium, and the city is kicking in an additional $35 million for other expenses tied into the larger development project.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Am I reading it right that the city is paying the entire costs of the stadium, and the city is kicking in an additional $35 million for other expenses tied into the larger development project.
If that's the case no wonder RI passed. It's never been a good idea for the state to fund stadia and given that RI got so badly burned by Schilling I can see a reluctance to pour any more money into baseball for now.
 

Brohamer of the Gods

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Oops - the state is kicking in an additional $35 million, not the city. Here are the numbers from the Telegram

The first phase of the project include 450,000 square feet of development and more than $208.5 million in development based on construction costs. They include.

• $86 million for the ballpark.
• $32.5 million for infrastructure improvements to be funded by the state.
• $40 million for the construction of a 150-room hotel and a second boutique hotel that will consist of about 100-110 rooms overlooking the ballpark.
• $40 million for the construction of 225 market-rate apartments.
• $10 million for the development of 65,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space.

Second-phase development includes plans for 200,000 square feet of additional residential/office or mixed-use development, totaling 650,000 square feet for the entire project.

Mr. Augustus emphasized that the project, including construction of the ballpark, will be “self-supporting” and will not cost Worcester taxpayers any additional money.

He said the project has been structured in such a way that new taxes and other revenue sources it generates will be used to to pay for the ballpark.

“This project will pay for itself,” Mr. Augustus said. “No (municipal budget) revenues will have to be diverted to support this project. That was a fundamental principle to this project. The development costs and revenue streams identified are interconnected and codependent.”

http://www.telegram.com/news/20180817/pawtucket-red-sox-moving-to-worcester-kelley-square-to-get-makeover
 

pedro1918

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Different leagues.
It's been a long time, and I'm not sure if the rules have changed, but when I worked for the Wilmington Blue Rocks, Cal Ripken wanted to turn his independent "Aberdeen Arsenal" into the affiliated Aberdeen IronBirds. Aberdeen was in the territorial rights of the Blue Rocks. Cal made a deal with Wilmington and the Blue Rocks waived their rights. The deal consisted of Cal showing up to Blue Rocks games for autograph sessions a few times and some promises not to market in Delaware for a few years.

Point being, there are (were) ways around that.
 

The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

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Oops - the state is kicking in an additional $35 million, not the city. Here are the numbers from the Telegram

The first phase of the project include 450,000 square feet of development and more than $208.5 million in development based on construction costs. They include.

• $86 million for the ballpark.
• $32.5 million for infrastructure improvements to be funded by the state.
• $40 million for the construction of a 150-room hotel and a second boutique hotel that will consist of about 100-110 rooms overlooking the ballpark.
• $40 million for the construction of 225 market-rate apartments.
• $10 million for the development of 65,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space.

Second-phase development includes plans for 200,000 square feet of additional residential/office or mixed-use development, totaling 650,000 square feet for the entire project.

Mr. Augustus emphasized that the project, including construction of the ballpark, will be “self-supporting” and will not cost Worcester taxpayers any additional money.

He said the project has been structured in such a way that new taxes and other revenue sources it generates will be used to to pay for the ballpark.

“This project will pay for itself,” Mr. Augustus said. “No (municipal budget) revenues will have to be diverted to support this project. That was a fundamental principle to this project. The development costs and revenue streams identified are interconnected and codependent.”

http://www.telegram.com/news/20180817/pawtucket-red-sox-moving-to-worcester-kelley-square-to-get-makeover
So if I understand things, basically the same financing model as the Pawtucket proposal except MA is guaranteeing the loans, whereas in RI the city or the team might have been on the hook?
 

Humphrey

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Baker can probably sell fixing that hideous Kelly Square intersection/overpass as far as the $35 million goes. The rest of it, I dunno. What if they draw 5K a game after the novelty of the place wears off? Is Worcester going to take a bath?
 

Brohamer of the Gods

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So if I understand things, basically the same financing model as the Pawtucket proposal except MA is guaranteeing the loans, whereas in RI the city or the team might have been on the hook?
No not the same. The team was going to pay $45 million for the Pawtucket stadium, I don't see them paying anything here if I am reading this right.
 

Brohamer of the Gods

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OK, found this. Looks like team will pay $33.8 million. $6 million upfront and the rest in rent. Don't see how long they would take to pay $27.8 million in rent. Dk0-7kbUwAEWdaT.jpeg
 

terrynever

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It makes sense that Massachusetts has more resources than Rhode Island and would backstop the loans that the team and state will undertake. That's where Rhode Island pulled the plug, not wanting to fall into the same trap as it did with 38 Studios.
Pawtucket is a city whose future may include bankruptcy. When the Mayor's rowboat was taking on water, the General Assembly didn't toss him a lifeline. They drowned him with an anchor.
 
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No not the same. The team was going to pay $45 million for the Pawtucket stadium, I don't see them paying anything here if I am reading this right.
The T&G article linked above says "The ballpark comes at a cost of $86 to $90 million. The city will borrow and use lease payments, property taxes from within the development, fees and parking from new development to pay the bond. The state will contribute $35 million over the next several years, to support infrastructure work, new housing in the area and a 350-500 space parking garage to support the development. The team will be paying 36 percent of the financing, and the state and city will contribute 64 percent."

Of course, the T&G doesn't pay for anyone to do reporting, so that's probably a transcription of the press release, and doesn't necessarily the "percent of what?!" question. Does $90 million only build the building that they will play baseball in, or does that also cover the parking, the "infrastructure improvements," and the like?

As for Kelly Square, there was talk for quite some time about converting it to a rotary, so the chaos would at least all flow in the same direction, but the idea was shelved because it would have been too expensive without something to generate some state funding. I bet that's what they do there.

It is possible that, from the City of Worcester's perspective, the proposal has value because it provides an opportunity to solve two tough problems: the redesign of Kelley Square, plus finding a use for the long-dormant Wyman/Gordon parcel, a significant chunk of which appears to be slated for Patriot Place style mixed use.

Sucks for the Bravehearts, though. They're awesome.
 

Brohamer of the Gods

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There is something in there about at least some of the state money going to parking. The stadium alone is $85-90 million.

Of course, the City Council hasn't voted on this yet. I can't imagine it isn't a done deal, but I am sure there will be vocal opposition to this at some point.
 

Paradigm

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I grew up in Shrewsbury and I have been rooting for this to happen ever since the first rumors emerged. From everything I've read, Worcester managed this process tightly and professionally, with no leaks. It obviously helps that they didn't have to go through the legislature like RI did.

Worcester has a fair number of good places to eat, but less to do on the cultural side. I can name five restaurants worth going to, but zero bars or other types of nightlife. The colleges are nice, but they tend to stay contained in their areas - Worcester does not have a great "going out" district where you would see college kids mingling with adults in their 20's and 30's.

The airport is actually a thing. I took a flight from Worcester to JFK a few months ago – it was heaven on earth. Soon you can fly to Philly.

Worcester could truly hit the next stage of growth with a handful of anchor employers in forward-looking industries. I'm surprised there haven't been one or two tech companies started out of WPI.

But this isn't just about Worcester - the city is close to some middle-class and upper-middle-class suburbs that will see this as a family-friendly night out in the summer. And if they do the right thing on pricing, it should be inclusive for all wealth classes in the region.

If there's a risk to the deal, it's that baseball loses its popularity and minor league baseball suffers even more so. Absent that, I predict this will be a big success for Worcester. This is not a Single-A team that nobody has heard of - it's the Triple-A team of the #1 or #2 most popular club in MLB. This is a once-in-a-lifetime get, and Worcester was smart to pursue it aggressively. I am so excited to see a ballgame at this stadium.
 

OBPercent1

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Great comments from Paradigm. I have had season tickets for the Pawsox since 89. Use to live in Lincoln RI, moved to Paxton 6 years ago and kept the season tickets. Personally I am thrilled about the move. I was told first hand that the deal was RI to lose, and they could not get out of their own way. When Skeffington died the first year of the new ownership, that sent the wheels in motion for the owners to find another location. Worcester put the best deal on the table, and the ownership gave RI all the opportunity to beat it. Once the state redid the bonding issue and put the burden on the ownership that sealed the deal. Also no way the International League would have let ownership take on the revised bill the state tried to sell them.
 

phrenile

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The contrast between how Rhode Island's politicians handled the stadium proposal with how Mass pols took charge is startling. We had a bunch of negativity and pessimism in Rhode Island, some name-calling, and the typical inferiority complex (we are so small!) whereas Massachusetts came together and solved problems.
That's one take.

Another take is that while there was broad support for keeping the PawSox in state, there was little constituent support outside Pawtucket for getting it done with significant public monies. So the General Assembly passed a bill that would provide the PawSox with some of Pawtucket's revenue to build 38 Stadium if they could. And since there's no shortage of suckers when it comes to stadium-financing deals, ownership found themselves a bigger sucker up north.
 

RIFan

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Give the dentist credit, he is spending time in the fan center at McCoy talking directly to fans. He spent some time at the booth for the local broadcast. He is going to put all his wizardry into not alienating the RI fans. He said that McCoy is still viable for other levels and lightly insinuated that they may help facilitate that. He did an admirable job not throwing shade on the RI legislature and heaped praise on Grebien. He also threw out that there were many other cities in contact with them.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Give the dentist credit, he is spending time in the fan center at McCoy talking directly to fans. He spent some time at the booth for the local broadcast. He is going to put all his wizardry into not alienating the RI fans. He said that McCoy is still viable for other levels and lightly insinuated that they may help facilitate that. He did an admirable job not throwing shade on the RI legislature and heaped praise on Grebien. He also threw out that there were many other cities in contact with them.
The dentist is a very good tag team partner for Lucchino, if Larry tried to say the like it would be through clenched teeth and look like a hostage video.

People just didn't get past the baseball side of the proposal, when the development is what is desperately needed in Pawtucket. To be fair, the PawSox had been in McCoy close to 50 years and did not improve the surrounding neighborhood very much. However this ownership group takes a lot bigger view than the previous family ownership who were great but focused solely on the baseball product.

Meanwhile I see where the state has put out around $500 million to the quasi-public RI Convention Center Authority since the '90s and many millions of taxpayer dollars have been put out to renovate the Dunkin Donuts Center. With downtown Providence being in relatively good economic shape, I'm not sure the harm in redirecting some dollars to the ballpark project where a vacant downtown is languishing. Other than what we all know, that the cronies of the folks on Smith Hill work at the RICC, so why would they instead shift money to an outside ownership group regardless of the results?
 

yeahlunchbox

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What's the mood of the people in the ballpark tonight? I'm going tomorrow and one other time this season, and want nothing to do with either game.
 

Brohamer of the Gods

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Ben Mondor didn't have the kind of money needed to redevelop the area. And of course the first 25 years he owned the team the Hasbro plant was still open.

I don't begrudge Worcester anything, but I hope Ben's ghost haunts Larry through eternity.
 

PaSox

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It's sad. Pawtucket was the model all major league organizations wanted to go after, mainly because of the proximity between the Triple A and big league club.
 

soxhop411

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Rick flair should be the official mascot of the WooSox.


Also play the WOOO sound after every strikeout.
 

RIFan

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People just didn't get past the baseball side of the proposal, when the development is what is desperately needed in Pawtucket. To be fair, the PawSox had been in McCoy close to 50 years and did not improve the surrounding neighborhood very much. However this ownership group takes a lot bigger view than the previous family ownership who were great but focused solely on the baseball product.
That's what really it. Too many people couldn't get past giving rich guys money and see the overall benefits of the full project. That combined with conflating this with 38 Studios. Ri will always be stuck in the mire because of the general ignorance of the public and overall suckitude of the elected officials. The only time anyone was able to think big picture was when Sundlun was Governor and he rammed through the Green renovation.
 

Brohamer of the Gods

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What's the mood of the people in the ballpark tonight? I'm going tomorrow and one other time this season, and want nothing to do with either game.
The mood was a bit weird. We mentioned it to the guy selling us the hot Weiner hat and he agreed. Otherwise, besides having all 3 news vans out front it wasn't much different than usual. Now some folks may not have even heard the news, so it may get worse.

I still have some passes to burn, so I will go once more. I don't know if I will get flex tixs again. The deciding factor will likely be my six year old. He loves going, does all of the fan stuff, even got to announce the batters earlier in the year. In some ways I hope he outgrows it a bit over the next two years, because driving over an hour to Worcester just ain't happening. At least not the 8-10 times we are going this year
 

PaSox

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I kind of find this fascinating and hitting a little close to home all at the same time. I grew up in Pawtucket, played Little League in Pawtucket and my dad was the GM when the club first move to Pawtucket. Made a few trips here and there back to McCoy and always enjoyed them.
When the AAA team I was the beat writer for traveled to McCoy always made the trip. It was fun to get back there and the crowds were always good.
But speaking from experience, the Phillies affiliate turned into the Yankees affiliate where I am from and after about two years attendance died. They rebranded and tried to make it more fan friendly, and I don't really think it worked. Now the Phillies are in Lehigh Valley, a closer drive in the event of a promotion, and the same with the Yankees in Scranton. Yankees get a decent draw on weekends from out of state Yankee fans based on the prospect projections...Lehigh Valley the same way.
It is just sad to say that the PawSox will be no more. Have a lot of great memories from McCoy.
 

CoolPapaBellhorn

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Mr. Augustus emphasized that the project, including construction of the ballpark, will be “self-supporting” and will not cost Worcester taxpayers any additional money.

He said the project has been structured in such a way that new taxes and other revenue sources it generates will be used to to pay for the ballpark.

“This project will pay for itself,” Mr. Augustus said.
Pure BS. Time and time again these stadium deals work out swimmingly for the team and end up screwing the municipality. Worcester is about to learn all about the winner’s curse.

Pawtucket/Rhode Island taxpayers and the Red Sox are the big winners here. Rhode Island area baseball fans and Worcester/MA taxpayers are the big losers. As a MA resident who goes to a few games in Pawtucket every year, I’m angry. I don’t expect the team to care about me as a fan, because most don’t, but the state reps who want to light this money on fire have some explaining to do.
 

Ale Xander

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Yeah as an Eastern MA taxpayer (hopefully not for long) and route 9 driver, I am not happy. There are better things to spend money on, like infrastructure, particularly Foxboro/Southeast Lack of Expressway/speed up the MBTA projects etc.

Red Sox have deep pockets, they don't need any help
 

Brohamer of the Gods

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Bruce Springsteen Fireworks would be fireworks with a Bruce Springsteen sound track.

Fireworks in downtown Worcester will be a treat, the people living in the adjacent apartments will learn to love them.
 

Cuzittt

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Yeah as an Eastern MA taxpayer (hopefully not for long) and route 9 driver, I am not happy. There are better things to spend money on, like infrastructure, particularly Foxboro/Southeast Lack of Expressway/speed up the MBTA projects etc.

Red Sox have deep pockets, they don't need any help
1) The Red Sox (aka Fenway Sports Group) own only a small percentage of the Pawtucket Red Sox (a reported 10% as opposed to full ownership of Salem Red Sox which they own 100% through their subsidiary Fenway Sports Management). Ergo, While FSG may have the money to do this on their own... it really isn't their deal. It's Larry's deal.
2) It appears (since they will be paying rent) that the PawSox (which I will continue to use through out to mean the entity currently in Pawtucket and possibly moving to Worcester) will not own the stadium. Which makes them paying for the stadium lock, stock, and barrel very much not worthwhile to them.
3) Even if the PawSox were to build the stadium themselves (and own it outright), there would still need to be infrastructure improvements around the area to make such a stadium worthwhile.
4) I have learned just from this thread that the area of Kelly Square is a mess (from a transportation standpoint) and that fixing that issue has been on the to do list not just of Worcester but also of the state. There was eventually going to be money allocated for this purpose regardless of the PawSox coming to town.
5) There appears to be a "Patriot's Place" envisioned within the plan. This may (or may not be... as I have no real clue) beyond the scope of what the PawSox were looking for.

Now, I am not saying that this will end up being a good deal for Worcester or not. However, I believe the cost of the stadium (and even associated parking structures) need to be addressed separately from the costs of the transportation fixes (which needed to happen any way) or the hotel/shopping complexes.
 

Ale Xander

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Oh it's a good deal for Worcester. They come out the best here of all the parties. Infrastructure is sped up. Development (retail for sure, residential and other commercial probably too) is sped up.

Was just talking as an Eastern MA tax payer who is just as close (by time) to Pawtucket as Worcester(especially if avoiding toll roads) and is more attracted to Greater Providence as a city than Greater Worcester.

I also wonder what will happen to McCoy.
 

ookami7m

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I also wonder what will happen to McCoy.
Here in Mobile AL the BayBears (Angels AA team) are moving after next season to the Huntsville area and this is the big conversation now is what happens to the stadium. It's a decent park with great sight-lines from the seats, a ton of history (Hank Aaron's childhood home is there, seats and history from various MLB parks), but the only real solution is to try to lure another team in. Other than High School / College tournaments there's really not a ton of other uses for it from a baseball side. The parking lot will still be there for the big Xmas light show but the other 10 months of the year....
 

Brohamer of the Gods

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1) The Red Sox (aka Fenway Sports Group) own only a small percentage of the Pawtucket Red Sox (a reported 10% as opposed to full ownership of Salem Red Sox which they own 100% through their subsidiary Fenway Sports Management). Ergo, While FSG may have the money to do this on their own... it really isn't their deal. It's Larry's deal.
2) It appears (since they will be paying rent) that the PawSox (which I will continue to use through out to mean the entity currently in Pawtucket and possibly moving to Worcester) will not own the stadium. Which makes them paying for the stadium lock, stock, and barrel very much not worthwhile to them.
3) Even if the PawSox were to build the stadium themselves (and own it outright), there would still need to be infrastructure improvements around the area to make such a stadium worthwhile.
4) I have learned just from this thread that the area of Kelly Square is a mess (from a transportation standpoint) and that fixing that issue has been on the to do list not just of Worcester but also of the state. There was eventually going to be money allocated for this purpose regardless of the PawSox coming to town.
5) There appears to be a "Patriot's Place" envisioned within the plan. This may (or may not be... as I have no real clue) beyond the scope of what the PawSox were looking for.

Now, I am not saying that this will end up being a good deal for Worcester or not. However, I believe the cost of the stadium (and even associated parking structures) need to be addressed separately from the costs of the transportation fixes (which needed to happen any way) or the hotel/shopping complexes.
A similar Patriot Place type development was also part of the Pawtucket proposal. Even if not being paid for by Larry and friends in either Pawtucket or Worcester, that sort of development is critical for the stadium deal to work, because there needs to be something in the special stadium taxing district worth taxing.
 

Cuzittt

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The real question is what will they be called? The WormSox? Worcestershire Saux? WooSox?
I am very hopeful that with the move, they drop the Red Sox name. Grow their own identity.

The Worcester team that was in the National League in the 1870s/80s may have been referred to as the Ruby Legs. (No primary sources have been found that used the name). I would suggest that would be a great name as it is a unique name and yet easily ties into the Red Sox.

I am also waiting patiently for Salem to change their name as well.
 

Boggs26

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I am very hopeful that with the move, they drop the Red Sox name. Grow their own identity.

The Worcester team that was in the National League in the 1870s/80s may have been referred to as the Ruby Legs. (No primary sources have been found that used the name). I would suggest that would be a great name as it is a unique name and yet easily ties into the Red Sox.

I am also waiting patiently for Salem to change their name as well.
I would love to see them renamed as the Ruby Legs. I'd also like to see some recognition of Worcester's professional baseball history. Not only the brief stint work a NL team, but also their National Association run as the Grays and then the various independent league teams that have come and gone.
 

moondog80

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There is zero chance they forego the name recognition of “Red Sox”.