McCoy Stadium, current home of the Pawtucket Red Sox, has been home to baseball in Rhode Island for 75 years. Not to mention, it is home to countless memories, including the longest game in baseball history. The possible relocation of the long time Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox is burdening many fans and officials. The aging McCoy Stadium, which just celebrated its 75th season, is need of renovation. While many Rhode Islanders love the field, they believe it is time for a new one. It is important to realize this a widely contested debate and is continuing on for the foreseeable future. These articles will focus on an individual aspect of the relocation process.
A 2016, a study showed that $68 million is required to make necessary repairs to the structure. This would keep McCoy Stadium intact and on the same ground. Although that may be true, demolishing the storied ground and building a new field right on top would cost the pretty penny of $78 million. New parking lots and garages will add to the price.
The addition of a parking garage would be unnecessary and anger many because Pawtucket locals sell spaces on their lawn for the low price of $10. Likewise, if you drive down South Bend Street you will find people selling spots for only $5. Rhode Island taxpayers will be sent a large portion of the bill if either of these deals go through. While many do not want to pay a large amount, many have deep emotional roots tied with McCoy Stadium and Paw Sox baseball.
As can be seen, Rhode Islanders love for the Pawtucket Red Sox goes beyond the average fans who support the team. Pawtucket Mayor, Don Grebien (D), has repeatedly stated his desires to keep the team in McCoy Stadium. Mayor Grebien often frequents McCoy Stadium. At “Bingo in The Batting Cage”, a charitable event for the purpose of donating money to Pawtucket, where fans including myself had the chance to pay $20 to go play bingo in the Batting Cage and win some awesome prizes. I won a Mookie Betts bobblehead and a VIP tour during the season. Mayor Grebien was the caller. In an interview, he stated, “I am committed to maintaining the affordable family-friendly brand of Paw Sox baseball in Pawtucket”.
“Affordable family-friendly brand”, are the words that sum up baseball in Pawtucket better than anything else. Most tickets cost only $9. Every Friday night there is a firework show. Amazing promotions are an additional bonus. I found that many Rhode Islanders do not want to lose this. The 2016 study also shows that $35 million will keep McCoy Stadium in use for twenty more years. While this would also cost the tax payers and management team, Paw Sox baseball would remain where it belongs, in Pawtucket. McCoy Stadium just celebrated it’s 75th season. It is the oldest minor league baseball field in existence. This is not something to be ashamed of. Many Rhode Islanders are proud of that. And they should be.
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