Pawtucket’s Mayor calls for state feasibility study on McCoy
By: Melissa Randall
Pawtucket isn't ready to toss in the towel when it comes to keeping the PawSox in town. The mayor is asking the Governor for a feasibility study on McCoy Stadium so the cost of modernizing the facility can be weighed against the cost of a downtown stadium.
The PawSox have done their own study concluding it's in the organization's best interest to move the stadium to Providence. But the mayor says that data hasn't been shared with the city or the public, and he wants to be sure no one is being misled.
“We think it's a lot less expensive for the state of Rhode Island and the tax payers to invest in what we all know and love and the history of it,” said Mayor Grebien.
He thinks that finding out how much it would cost to modernize the ball park would be a key part to the public debate over moving the stadium to the Capitol City.
“I don't think it's a good use of money. The PawSox owners have been crystal clear they want to leave Pawtucket. Of course that's regrettable and I wish we could convince them to stay,” said Raimondo.
But the Mayor says even if the new owners uproot the PawSox the state is still required by a 2014 lease to conduct such a study.
“What's the next life?” asked Grebien. “Do we keep the stadium which I believe we do, but what are the options in the physical structure of the building?”
Meanwhile a contingent of about 40 people left T.F. Green Airport Wednesday morning for North Carolina. There they joined PawSox managing partner Larry Lucchino as organization made its pitch. The team invited the group to visit the Triple-A stadium of the Durham Bulls in order to see its impact on the community, and to try and sway public opinion in their favor. The Governor was not among the travelers.
“I don't really think it’s necessary to go,” she said. “We're doing our work and as I’ve said many, many times if there's a deal here to be done—that's fair to tax payers and that is good to tax payers and good for the economy— then its something I’d be willing to get behind.”
Meanwhile Pawtucket’s Mayor says he's been in touch with PawSox leadership and expects to sit down with them "very soon."
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