Worcester Breaks Ground On Polar Park, Future Home Of Triple-A Sox
Hundreds of people on Thursday gathered for the "ceremonial groundbreaking for Polar Park, the future home" of the Triple-A Int'l League Worcester Red Sox, once the team relocates from Pawtucket, R.I., according to a front-page piece by Cyrus Moulton of the Worcester TELEGRAM & GAZETTE. The ballpark is "designed for year-round use with a capacity of 10,000, and is the centerpiece of a public-private redevelopment project" near downtown Worcester. The overall project will "include private development of 250 market-rate apartments, two hotels totaling 250 rooms, a 96,000-square-foot office building beyond left field, 65,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and a new 500+ space parking garage." The ballpark is "expected to hold 125 year-round events," including MiLB games, road races, concerts and more. Triple-A Red Sox Chair Larry Lucchino said, "We do not promise you a perfect ballpark, or a perfect overall project, or another eighth wonder of the world. What we do promise is a nice little ballpark, which we hope will be iconic" (Worcester TELEGRAM & GAZETTE, 7/12). In Worcester, Bill Ballou in a front-page piece writes this was "more than a groundbreaking," it was "earth-shattering." Worcester is "less than two years away from being the home" of the Red Sox' Triple-A affiliate, something "almost nobody believed was possible" (Worcester TELEGRAM & GAZETTE, 7/12).
A NEW BEGINNING: In Boston, Edward Fitzpatrick wrote the groundbreaking was a "moment many imagined happening in Rhode Island over the past few years" as the Triple-A Red Sox "considered moving away from the old McCoy Stadium to Providence or, perhaps, a new Pawtucket ballpark." Team President Charles Steinberg said, "This is the day that we thought we would be celebrating in Pawtucket" (BOSTONGLOBE.com, 7/11). In Providence, Mark Patinkin in a front-page piece writes the groundbreaking in Worcester had a "sense of political cooperation that had been lacking in the ballpark debate here." Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito had "fought for years alongside Worcester officials" in their quest for a ballpark -- "in contrast to how absent" Gov. Gina Raimondo and state House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello were (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 7/12).