The City of Worcester signed a letter of intent with the Triple AAA baseball team, the Pawtucket Red Sox, to have the team begin their 2021 baseball season here in Worcester. The letter of intent will require City Council approval in the coming weeks. This is a significant milestone, in that the proposal will not only involve the construction of a new ballpark, named Polar Park, but a major redevelopment of the long-vacant Wyman-Gordon site into a mixed-use district. Together the ballpark and redevelopment will create new jobs, tax base expansion and tens of thousands of new visitors to the City annually. Moreover, the redevelopment of the Wyman-Gordon site and Kelley Square area will lead to a plan and design that will knit together the Canal District, Vernon Hill, Green Island, Main South, and lower Chandler and Madison Street neighborhoods of Worcester.
City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. and his team deserve enormous credit for their diligent work in reaching this milestone at the request of the Mayor Joseph M. Petty and the City Council. Many individuals and organizations assisted in this several year process. Kudos to the Canal District Alliance for their impactful postcard campaign which created such a positive impression of Worcester on the Paw Sox leadership. Additionally, the support and advocacy of Lieutenant Governor Polito was key to this effort as well. The Chamber and many of our member businesses stepped up to make the case that the growing momentum here in Worcester and Central Mass is something that the team should be part of for decades to come. Also, the developer involved in this project, Denis Dowdle of Madison Properties, and a Chamber member, has a successful track record both in Worcester and statewide on projects of this scale. Lastly, Larry Lucchino and his team are to be commended for the time and attention they have spent in Worcester and Central Mass over the past year. They have listened and learned and gotten to know people, businesses, organizations, and leaders that make Worcester and Central Mass such a special place. They have taken the time to build a foundation for a successful long-term partnership. The best evidence of the success of the Paw Sox’s relationship building with the community is that Ralph Crowley, the President and CEO of Polar Beverages announced with Larry Lucchino at today’s announcement that the ballpark will be named “Polar Park.” Two iconic brands, the Red Sox and Polar Beverages coming together to move the City and region forward.
As previously stated, this letter of intent is an important milestone, but additional work and approvals are still required for the 2021 season. In the meantime, we will continue to root for our Future Collegiate Baseball League Team, the Worcester Bravehearts and congratulate the players, staff, and Creedon Family on another Championship season.