Rhode Island Senate Passes Legislation For Pawtucket Ballpark

The Red Sox’s Triple-A team is one step closer to avoiding a move out of Pawtucket, where it has resided since its inception in 1973.

The Rhode Island Senate on Tuesday approved legislation by a 26-9 vote that would finance a new ballpark in Pawtucket’s Slater Mill district that would replace McCoy Stadium, which is quickly entering a state of disrepair. The team’s lease at McCoy expires after the 2020 season. Now, the bill moves to the House, where its merits will be debated again before being voted upon.

“Once again, we extend our gratitude to the Rhode Island Senate for its overwhelming support for a new ballpark for Pawtucket,” the PawSox said in a statement on Tuesday evening. “The Senate, led by President Ruggiero and Chairman Conley, has done thorough deliberation and much hard work, and we appreciate the resounding vote tonight in favor of this enabling legislation.

“To steal a phrase from a famous and successful New England football coach … the Senate ‘did their job’ and we thank them for it.”

The proposed stadium would cost roughly $83 million, with 54 percent of that total (as well as any overruns during construction) paid by the team. Rhode Island itself would pay $23 million (28 percent) and the city of Pawtucket would pay $15 million (18 percent).

The team also entertained overtures in 2015 to move to Providence only to reconsider and stay in Pawtucket. If the team gets its stadium, it will sign a 30-year lease to remain at the stadium. The new ballpark would be built in the style of the new wave of modern ballparks, which is as the epicenter of an area designed to foster future development.

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