The Boston Red Sox have a new location getting ready for their Triple-A franchise for the 2021 season. Welcome to Worcester and the WooSox!
What’s in a name? Apparently, the new location of the Red Sox Triple-A franchise in Worcester has been officially named the WooSox. As part of you can’t please everyone, the list of rejected names is a startling 217.
The projected and long-anticipated move by the Triple-A team from picturesque Pawtucket – gateway to Central Falls – will be ready for their new ballpark at the beginning of the 2021 International League season. The good news for the players who shuttle back and forth is the distance is almost identical to the well-traveled I-95 route. So, I guess, that makes it carbon neutral or whatever the trade-off is. As a side note, maybe the marketing wizards can get a cooperative ticket arrangement with the parent club?
The naming issue is just one part of the moving puzzle with the first part being the rejection of the greater Providence area. There are winners and losers in regional pilfering and Worcester won since the efforts of their competitors in Rhode Island never materialize with a solid vision and funding. A long story that has been discussed extensively and I will avoid and concentrate on Worcester as the second part of the puzzle.
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Downtown Worcester – the second largest city in New England – has enjoyed a renaissance of late similar to what the Seaport District in Boston is enjoying unless you are a middle-class rent payer. The park, which will have naming rights, will be called Polar Park and seat 10,000 with a variety of the usual seating options and amenities.
As I venture into travelog mode, I am familiar with the area of the ballpark since I have a son that lives a few blocks away in a high-rise. Access from I-295 is available and about a Michael Chavis home run away from the ballyard. In walking distance is DCU – formerly The Centrum, the remodeled Hanover Theater, and Union Station. Kelly Square is a few blocks south and littered with numerous restaurants of multiple cuisines and price ranges.
Now about Red Sox Nation. Does this dramatically change anything? Not one bit except far better accouterments for the players with an upscale ballpark with facilities for the players that should reflect MLB quality. Transportation should be easily accessible with Worcester Regional Airport, but they have significant flight limitations for team travel within the International League.
This is a solid move and had to be made considering the condition of McCoy Stadium. The downside is the greater Pawtucket/Providence area losing out both economically and with a baseball vacuum. I would have loved to see a new park situated at India Point in Providence. Now, however, a new chapter begins for Worcester and the Red Sox.