Study explores impact of downtown Pawtucket ballpark

By: News Staff

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PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WLNE) — The latest vision for a new Pawsox Stadium includes more than just a place to play ball.

Hotels, housing, and retail space could accompany the park if it moves downtown.

Building a new downtown stadium for the Pawsox could bring in $130 million in benefits over a 30 year period. That is the findings of a new economic impact study commissioned by the city of Pawtucket and the team.

“This report is very exciting because it started focusing on where we had 2 great sites- each having their own attractiveness if you will,” said the Mayor of Pawtucket, Donald Grebien.

The first location: The land where the iconic Apex building currently sits. The other, a parcel on Taft Street called “Tide Water.”

The mayor says the clear winner is the Apex site.

“With the commuter rail coming we’re looking at the transit development with the bus stops stopping there. There are brewers and new businesses coming in, so there’s an excitement. I would say you capitalize on that,” said Mayor Grebien.

The thought would be to make the ball park a year-round venue with multi-use space for things such as hotels, housing, and retail shops.

The mayor says that vision could jump start Pawtucket’s redevelopment.

The local business community is already getting on board. The mayor tells ABC6 News that a recent survey found 90 percent were in favor of moving the ball park to downtown.

Fixing up McCoy has not been ruled out, but the study shows there is limited potential for economic development at the existing facility.

Mayor Grebien says in the end any investment needs to makes sense for all involved.

“I believe that once we get through all the what ifs and the details are done- I’m confident that people will be able to get their heads around that it will be self sufficient, revenue neutral and it is going to be a benefit,” said Mayor Grebien.

©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2017