Blogs | Ethan Shorey

PawSox spox leaves door open (slightly ajar) on Pawtucket

Pawtucket residents who have been waiting for a glimmer of hope that they might be able to keep the Pawtucket Red Sox may have gotten it Thursday.

News broke during the day that Brown University officials will be seeking fair market value for a building that would need to be torn down to make way for left field at a new Providence stadium, and that the university wouldn’t sell unless state leaders and residents support the stadium. As it turns out, Brown won't really be needing the stadium for future events.

PawSox spokeswoman Patti Doyle said the development was a significant one and indicated that team officials are questioning whether the project is still financially feasible.

Given the new developments, I asked Doyle Thursday evening if there’s “any consideration being given yet” to keeping the team in Pawtucket.

“For now we remain focused on a renegotiated agreement with the state on land within the I-195 District,” she said in an email. "We'll have to now assess the project cost in light of this new information. Still lots of moving parts."

That “for now” could end up meaning little, but it’s a far cry from when late owner James Skeffington laughed at the idea when I asked him about it on a conference call in February. PawSox Chairman Larry Lucchino has repeatedly reinforced the idea, saying Providence is the only viable option.

I asked Doyle again if there’s any chance of reinvesting in McCoy Stadium if the costs prove too high in Providence. The team has said it would cost $65 million or more to renovate.

“I just don't think we are prepared today to start considering alternatives,” she said. “We remain very excited and enthusiastic about the prospect of a multi-purpose, urban ballpark within the I-195 District Commission.”

There it is. Pawtucket now appears to be an "alternative."

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