According to a feasibility study, the location where McCoy Stadium, home of the PawSox, is situated is infeasible for a new or renovated ballpark. The study was commissioned by the Pawtucket Red Sox and the state of Rhode Island to see if the location would be a good fit.
Normally I would say “what a surprise” as the PawSox have ordered this study and you can let every study have the outcome that you want. And knowing that the PawSox want to get out of McCoy stadium, the outcome of this study was very predictable in advance. But since the state of Rhode Island also ordered for this study, the outcome is more plausible now.
According to the study, renovating McCoy Stadium would cost $68 million, while building a new stadium at this location would cost $78 million. But even with a new stadium built at the site with adjacent economic development, the location would limit any economic benefit.
According to an article in the Providence Journal, Architect Jonathan O’Neil Cole, the team leader on the study and co-founder of Pendulum Studio II LLC, of Kansas City, stressed in a conference call with reporters that his team was tasked only with analyzing McCoy’s conditions and future prospects for a Triple-A baseball stadium on the site. He said it would be “presumptuous” to answer questions about where else the team might go, because his team has not analyzed other options, or been asked to do so.
Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien said it’s too soon to talk with the PawSox about other locations because the study he long wanted was just submitted Thursday.
Nevertheless, in an interview with The Providence Journal, Grebien said the city has used GIS mapping techniques to find other Pawtucket locations with enough space to fit a 6- to 7-acre stadium. The city hasn’t examined existing infrastructure at the sites.
One site is the Main Street location of the Apex department store. Last week, the Apex Development Co. and the PawSox said they had begun initial conversations about a possible stadium there. In a statement, the PawSox said any potentially deeper talks would only take place after the feasibility study’s release.
In the past two years, the owners of the PawSox have been looking for a new facility but all possibilities shattered. The owners still have some time to try to convince the city of Pawtucket to build a new ballpark for them as the stadium lease expires after the 2020 season.
IMO, McCoy Stadium is a ballpark with character, a ballpark without bells and whistles. Just the way a ballpark should be. Let’s be honest. Don’t we all go to a ballpark to watch a ballgame? Or do we really want to be entertained in a fun fair-like surroundings?