Future of the PawSox remains a mystery

AP File Photo / Steven Senne
Eric D. Schabell
Contributing Writer

It was reported back in November of 2015 that the PawSox were up for sale.

Since that news broke there has been nothing but deafening silence.

Reports were that part of Red Sox ownership group was in on the deal, but nothing has slipped out of the Fenway offices yet.

Then the Providence Journal decided to knock on the door of the City of Pawtucket to see if they had any news.

Like everyone else, they had no idea what the outcome was yet.

"If this sale is consummated, we're prepared to meet with the new owners and make our case for them maintaining the franchise here in Rhode Island, in Pawtucket, at McCoy," Pires said. "We're waiting like anyone else."

Not a mouse was stirring and not a whisper had been heard.

"We've been around long enough to know that if there's a change of ownership, you always have to take a deep breath and recognize that the ownership could have other options in mind," said Tony Pires, Pawtucket's director of administration. "If the sale goes through, we welcome the new ownership with open arms and embrace their investment and will do everything possible to make sure they continue to grow the franchise in Pawtucket."

The PawSox have been the Red Sox Triple-A team since 1973 and drew more than 500,000 fans last season, averaging 7,400 per game which is 9th in the 14-team league. It last led the league in attendance in 2006 with 9,200 fans per game.

Both the Red Sox front office and the PawSox declined comment again on the topic of the sale this week.

McCoy Stadium is leased to the state of Rhode Island by Pawtucket, which in turn subleases to the PawSox. This agreement was extended in March of 2014 to run through Jan 31, 2021 with a mutual option for five more years.

The last major renovation to McCoy Stadium was completed in 1999 and cost about $17 million, of which more than half was financed through state-issued economic development bonds. That renovation project came in response to a push from Worcester, Mass., to convince the PawSox to move there.

Six of the 14 teams in the International League have opened new stadiums since 1999, so this might be a point of contention for the new owners to stay in Pawtucket.

So we wait for answers as to the future of the PawSox, just like the city of Pawtucket.

Post a comment or via twitter @erics_redsox with your thoughts.

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