In October, 2016, 24/7 Wall Street rated this state as having the worst roads in the Country. What is Rhode Island? Correct. According to the Federal Highway Administration 52 percent of the public roads in Rhode Island are in poor condition while 56 percent of the bridges are considered deficient. Over all, the American Society of Civil Engineers has given an “F” to the United States in infrastructure. The Civil Engineers group thinks about $3.6 trillion is needed to fix American roads to bring them up to an acceptable level by 2020.
But don’t tell that to the owners of the Boston Red Sox, a group that would like to build a replica of Fenway Park in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in the very near future for the business’s Triple A baseball team. The only problems with the plan? Who will pay for the ballpark and project and where would it be located. Red Sox ownership still has a number of years left on the deal with the city owned stadium. The proposed Pawtucket Red Sox stadium, would be owned by Pawtucket which means the municipality will be on the hook for funding. Pawtucket has no interest in renovating the current stadium.
The Pawtucket Red Sox play in a 75-year-old facility which was renovated less than 20 years ago. The stadium is not good enough for Red Sox ownership or Major League Baseball standards thanks to the 1990 Major League-Minor League agreement that mandated all minor league parks be brought up to whatever are Major League Baseball standards. Boston ownership looked at Worchester, Massachusetts but has remained in Pawtucket.
These businesses don’t produce much economic impact and only offer per diem jobs. Then there are those pesky roads that could lead to the stadium that might need to be fixed and someone has to pay for that too. But that’s not a Red Sox ownership problem.
By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.