PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — The push to keep the PawSox in Pawtucket continued Monday morning at a news conference at McCoy Stadium.
The team’s owners joined city and state leaders to announce they’re looking to hire a consulting firm to conduct an independent study of the ballpark and find out if it’s still a suitable home for the team.
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The group said they hope the study will reveal the strengths and weaknesses of McCoy and determine what can be done to make it more competitive with other Triple-A stadiums.
Last year, the team was looking to build a brand new stadium on the Providence waterfront, but the effort fell through. The team’s initial proposal asking for $120 million in state subsidies faced strong public opposition.
The team’s ownership said they conducted their own study, which stated it would cost $65 million to get the ballpark up to their standards. The full study was never released publicly, however, despite repeated requests from Mayor Donald Grebien.
“We’re going back to the original study in 1998 and we’re asking everybody see all of the studies, from that one, going forward, which would include these,” Grebien said Monday. “So that way there, it’s a fair process. We’re in this together as their partnership and we all have value and skin of the game, if you will.”
Grebien said he wants it to be a transparent process. The mayor didn’t have the cost of the study on hand, but said it will be split between the city of Pawtucket, the state of Rhode Island, and the PawSox.
“I think we’re going to be working together, working together, studying together, working on specific issues,” said Larry Lucchino, chairman of the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Rep. David A. Coughlin Jr., D-Pawtucket, was one of the state lawmakers on hand Monday and voiced his support of the study.
“This study will be a critical component in evaluating how to keep the tremendous state asset we know as the PawSox at their longtime home of McCoy Stadium,” he said in a statement. “It’s important to me that the families of Rhode Island are able to carry on their tradition of spending their summer nights under the lights of McCoy stadium, watching the boys of summer play our national pastime. I am looking forward to being a part of this collaborative process to ensure that the residents of Rhode Island, and their interests, are represented and that future generations will have the opportunity to form the lasting memories at McCoy Stadium that so many of us now dearly treasure.”
The study is expected to be completed by December.