WORCESTER, Mass. (WPRI) — The day after the city of Worcester hosted a welcome celebration for the Worcester Red Sox, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo Tuesday reiterated the importance of looking forward to the future of Blackstone Valley without the minor league baseball team.
Last week, the Worcester City Council approved a financing package to build the stadium in the Kelley Square area. The “WooSox” are expected to play in their new stadium for the 2021 season.
During the welcome celebration, PawSox Chairman Larry Lucchino praised Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien’s efforts to keep the team, but he said Rhode Island leaders did not have the “work together spirit” that he found in Massachusetts.
“It takes two to tango, in Rhode Island I guess three… the city, state and us… and we could never put a dance team together,” Lucchino said.
Raimondo said she was disappointed that the legislature “got in the way of a good deal.”
“I had negotiated a good deal that the team would have accepted,” Raimondo explained. “Larry said he would have accepted our deal and the House of Representatives dilly-dallied and they found another place to go.”
In a statement sent to Eyewitness News, a spokesperson for House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello responded to the governor’s remarks on the deal:
“The House of Representatives acted cautiously and responsibly by passing legislation in June which protected the taxpayers by removing the state guarantee for the stadium bonds. The $100 million offer made by Worcester was much more generous than any deal that Rhode Island would ever consider.”
Raimondo reiterated that the Worcester deal would not have been responsible to compete with.
She also said there are already talks going on with other teams about possibly playing at McCoy Stadium, but it’s too early to say which teams they are interested in.