PawSox set for move to Worcester in 2021

August 17th, 2018

The Pawtucket Red Sox, the Triple-A affiliate of the Red Sox, signed a letter of intent on Friday confirming the team's planned move to Worcester. An innovative multi-use ballpark is scheduled to open in downtown Worcester in 2021.

"We are eager to build an innovative, family-friendly ballpark that reflects the love and appreciation of baseball and that unifies Central Massachusetts and the Blackstone Valley Corridor," PawSox chairman Larry Lucchino said.

Lucchino signed the letter in a ceremony at City Hall in Worcester on Friday with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Mayor Joseph Petty and City Manager Ed Augustus. The project is subject to the approval of the Worcester City Council, the International League and the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues ("Minor League Baseball").

The PawSox will continue to play at 77-year-old McCoy Stadium in Rhode Island for the next two years. Lucchino and Janet Marie Smith, the Dodgers' senior vice president of planning and development, will oversee the design and construction of the ballpark. Lucchino and Smith partnered together to create Oriole Park at Camden Yards in 1992, and they captained a decade of improvements to Fenway Park starting in 2002.

"This day marks a major milestone on a journey that began 12 months ago," Lucchino said. "The contagious enthusiasm of the leaders of the business community, and of everyday citizens, has been warm and welcoming, starting of course with the now-famous 10,000 postcards we received from all over Central Massachusetts, organized by the Canal District Alliance.

"We have noted how proud people are of this city, how committed they are to its continued resurgence and how excited they are to inscribe a new chapter in its long and rich baseball history."

Lucchino hopes the ballpark will be active year-round, enlivening the city of Worcester while enhancing its civic self-esteem. The PawSox's chairman expressed his gratitude to Worcester Mayor Joe Petty, the 11 City Council members, Gov. Charlie Baker, Polito and other notable constituents for a smooth process.

"I thank the Mayor of Pawtucket, Don Grebien, who is a wonderful partner, an honorable public servant and an heroic champion of his city." Lucchino said. "We continue to wish him well and will remain supportive of his efforts to improve his city. We also thank the fans of our region, who have loyally supported this baseball club for decades.

"I also thank the City Manager of Worcester, Ed Augustus, who worked relentlessly while leading a process that contained few bumps or bruises, few delays or abrasions. He and his talented team -- and the entire community -- have led us to this point. … We look forward to celebrating with everyone in the Heart of the Commonwealth … and the Heart of New England."