PawSox envision park within a park for new stadium

Slater Mill-Apex site rendering puts ballpark a block away from highway

(Image provided by PawSox)

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — The latest plans for a new home for the Pawtucket Red Sox envisions weaving public spaces around a new minor league baseball park that residents could use year-round.

The PawSox Tuesday released design concepts for the imagined ballpark – which would be located on the site of the old Apex department store property near the Slater Mill in downtown, bordered by Mill Pond, the Blackstone River, the Main Street bridge, and the curve of Interstate 95.

In the design concept, parking lots are outside the first base line, while Main Street is just behind left field and a Green Monster-like structure. The river is behind home plate and the main stands.

The team outlined a vision of offering the ballpark as a multi-purpose venue that could host community events — including concerts, hockey, and even scholastic activities — as well as open, park-like areas for residents. The team drew comparisons to Petco Park, the home of the San Diego Padres, which has a city park (“Padres Park At The Park”) behind center field. Outside of game days, that park is open to the public.

The new PawSox park could leave its concourse or warning track open for walking or jogging, the team’s statement said. “The playing field itself, of course, would have to remain untouched,” they added.

Benches dotted throughout the area could also serve for picnics or reading, as could the new Green Monster.

A playground could also be located on the property for children.

“A beautiful, clean, safe park is a civic asset,” said the team’s chairman, Larry Lucchino, in the statement. “We envision this park as a community focal point and gathering place in the heart of our downtown.”

The team’s release did not include how much the park would cost or who would pay for it.

Earlier this month, the city ordered the study of two potential sites – the Apex location and a wooded area on Taft Street known as the “Tidewater site.”

This is the first new stadium the team has proposed. In 2015, owners pulled the plug on plans for a stadium on the old 195 land in Providence after huge public opposition.

A study released in January found McCoy Stadium – the PawSox current home – needs at least $68 million in renovations.