PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Soon after purchasing the Pawtucket Red Sox, the new owners — including Boston Red Sox President Larry Lucchino — announced they were moving the team out of Pawtucket and had plans to build a new ballpark in downtown Providence.
But the ownership group’s original stadium proposal, asking for $120 million in state subsidies, was rejected. Since then, the owners of the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox and state lawmakers have been meeting behind closed doors to create a new proposal. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said lawmakers might need to hold a special session in the fall to vote on it.
Meanwhile, Lucchino has said he’ll take the team elsewhere if the group doesn’t get the land it wants and a deal with Rhode Island. Lucchino has said that other New England communities have expressed an interest in the team, but he has refused to say which ones. A PawSox spokeswoman said that the team continues to focus on the Providence site “for now.”
Earlier this month, a spokeswoman for Gov. Gina Raimondo told The Associated Press that of the 553 emails and phone calls the governor’s office has received about the proposed stadium, 98 percent of them opposed the plan. On Tuesday, a stadium opponent handed over petitions to lawmakers with about 3,000 signatures urging them to reject the proposal.
PawSox spokeswoman Patti Doyle said the team has sent about 300 emails to state representatives on behalf of people who support the stadium plan.
Here are some New England cities that have expressed an interest in — or could accommodate — the team:
Worcester, Massachusetts — In March, some members of the Worcester city council expressed an interest in luring the team to Worcester, New England’s second-largest city after Boston. But in a statement to The Associated Press, Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus said officials there have no intention of using any public money for a private stadium. He said he’d be open to discussing deals that use private funds and make use of the city’s existing facilities.
New Bedford, Massachusetts — In May, members of New Bedford’s city council said they wanted the team to consider moving to the Whaling City. But Mayor Jon Mitchell told The Standard-Times later that month that the potential cost to the taxpayers makes the PawSox stadium proposal a “non-starter.” A spokesman for Mitchell told The Associated Press the mayor had not had any contact with the team, and that he stood by his original comments.
Springfield, Massachusetts — A spokesman for the mayor told The Associated Press he hadn’t heard anything about the possibility of bringing the PawSox to Springfield, which is about 24 miles north of Hartford, Connecticut. The spokesman said the team hadn’t contacted the city, but he wouldn’t respond to follow-up questions asking whether the city had contacted the team or whether officials there would support public money for a PawSox stadium.
New Britain, Connecticut — A spokesman for New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart said she wouldn’t comment on whether the owners of the PawSox had reached out to the city, whether the city had reached out to the PawSox or what the city will do with its now-empty stadium, citing “confidentiality requirements.” The New Britain Rock Cats, the Double-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, is moving five miles away, to Hartford.
Hartford, Connecticut — Connecticut’s capital city recently acquired the New Britain Rock Cats by agreeing to build a new stadium, which will be funded by the city. A spokesman for the mayor said the team has signed a 25-year lease for the stadium, which broke ground in February.
Lowell, Massachusetts — Lowell is already home to the Lowell Spinners, a short-season Single-A team affiliate of the Red Sox. Mayor Rodney Elliott said officials there hadn’t reached out to the PawSox and probably wouldn’t, because the city is happy with the Spinners.
Burlington, Vermont — The largest city in Vermont, Burlington is home to the Vermont Lake Monsters, the short-season Single-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. A spokeswoman for the mayor said the city has not approached the PawSox and is happy with the Lake Monsters.
Officials from Manchester, New Hampshire, home to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and Portland, Maine, home to the Portland Sea Dogs, the Double-A affiliate of the Red Sox, did not respond to requests for comment.