Only right ?kind of help ?for Pawtucket

As the weather heats up, the discussion over what will happen with the Pawtucket Red Sox will as well.

Providence attorney James J. Skeffington, lead partner of the investment group that bought the minor league club, could not have been clearer: the future of the team is not at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket.

Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien said a move “would be like ripping the heart out of the city.”

What then can and should the city do?

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City officials believe that should the state give the new ownership group help in moving to the former Interstate 195 land in Providence, Pawtucket should receive commensurate financial assistance.

It would be more prudent to study what Pawtucket needs most in replacing the ball team before committing to anything, and then seeing which actions the state can take to fill what will be a big hole where the city’s heart once was. •


  1. If the PawSox move to Providence, Pawtucket should take advantage of the many tourist who soon will be visiting the new Blackstone Valley National Park and propose building an eight mile bike path, using the P&W right of way, connecting the East Bay Bike Path with the Blackstone River Bikeway. This new bike path will pass right by McCoy Stadium and McCoy Stadium would become part of the new National Park System. Historical pageants, band concerts and other special events would be held at McCoy Stadium. In addition, efforts to bring another Triple-A baseball team to McCoy Stadium should be done. The Syracuse Chiefs, the Washington Nationals’ Triple-A farm team, has had very low attendance (less than 4000 fans per game). The Syracuse Chiefs might want to come to a city where thousands of tourists gather every summer. Thousands of neighborhood residents live within walking distance of McCoy Stadium and tourists from Bristol, Providence and Woonsocket could tour the new National Park on their rented bikes, see future major league baseball players in action and feel good that they are also recducing carbon emissions. Many Boston fans would commute to the new MBTA Station in Pawtucket and take a shuttle bus to McCoy Stadium to watch the intense rivalry between the Pawtucket Chiefs and the Rhode Island Red Sox.
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