Red Sox: Feasibility study of McCoy Stadium raises concerns for Pawtucket
The results of the McCoy Stadium feasibility study are in, and it doesn’t look good for Pawtucket, where the Red Sox Triple-A affiliate currently resides.
After months of studying McCoy Stadium and the city of Pawtucket, Pendulum Studio II reported the results to the Providence Journal. The reports do not look good for the prospect of the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox to remain in the city.
To renovate the current stadium, it will cost an estimated $68 million.
Were the team to demolish McCoy and build a new stadium in its place, it would cost an estimated $78 million. This study did not take into account the cost of building a new stadium somewhere else. It only focused on if it is smart to renovate or rebuild in their current location.
Last week, it was reported that the team is looking at plans to build a new stadium. The new location is at the old Apex store. This site would be closer to the border between Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and would keep the team in Pawtucket.
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The residents of Pawtucket have been very vocal of their stance of keeping the team, and the ownership has taken note. Two years ago, the new ownership made claims that they were going to move the team to Providence. After two years of sub-par attendance, it seems that the owners have changed their views.
After the reports of this feasibility study, it seems that, at the very least, they are destined to move from their current location. With the money situation so close between existing renovations and building a new stadium, it seems to be a forgone conclusion.
Looking into the future, the last stadium to be built in the International League was BB&T Ballpark (home of the Charlotte Knights). That stadium was built in 2014, and is roughly 1,000 seats smaller than McCoy at maximum capacity.
The cost of building BB&T Ballpark was only $54 million. While this is a big price-tag, it can easily be offset if the park is built in the right area. Unlike the field of dreams, if you build it they actually might not come. This quote talks about the returns the stadium would get if they stayed in their current location:
"“Without a major investment that could connect McCoy, along Division Street, to those districts, a repaired or new stadium at the McCoy site would probably not yield desired redevelopment that a viable “Stadium District” needs”, the consultants wrote."
As someone who has spent a good amount of time in that stadium over the years, it is clear that something has to be done. McCoy has had so many great memories, but the time is up.
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As with someone who grows up, they have to one day move out of their old home. Thanks for the memories McCoy. I hope that wherever they move, the Pawtucket Red Sox can make just as many, if not more.