Pawtucket sues PawSox, alleging breach of McCoy lease

PawSox

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) – The city of Pawtucket is taking the PawSox to court.

In an eight-page complaint filed in Rhode Island Superior Court last week, the city alleges The Pawtucket Red Sox Baseball Club LLC failed and refused to comply with the maintenance and repair obligations of their lease of McCoy Stadium. The suit alleges the city is entitled to “significant damages, including the costs of necessary repair, replacement, and other work on the Stadium and its site.”

“This is another unfortunate piece of the Pawtucket Red Sox Saga,” Pawtucket spokesperson Wilder Arboleda told 12 News in an email. “The city of Pawtucket worked hard to keep the Pawtucket Red Sox here, but the long-standing team will no longer be playing here in Rhode Island.”

After floating the idea of moving to Providence in 2015, the team announced in 2018 that it would leave Pawtucket for Worcester, where the brand-new Polar Park stadium is being built for the club. The team is set to begin playing at their new Massachusetts home later this year.

According to the lawsuit, the team told the city and state in July of last year that it would not be extending its lease past its Jan. 31 expiration date.

The lawsuit said Pawtucket notified the team in October that it was breaking the obligations of its lease, but that the team contended otherwise the following month. Arboleda said the city filed suit to “ensure that the commitments of the lease are met and the city is protected.”

McCoy is owned by the city and leased to the state, which subleases it to the team, and the city contends the team is leaving taxpayers exposed to the financial burden of the stadium’s upkeep, repairs or potential demolition.

“The city of Pawtucket’s primary responsibility continues to be to preserve and protect our taxpayers’ investments,” Arboleda said.

He said Pawtucket and the PawSox continue to discuss the possibility of allowing the team to stay in the facility on a month-to-month basis after Jan. 31.

The suit does not specify the amount of damages sought.

“The Pawtucket Red Sox were stunned to learn of this unfounded lawsuit from our friends and long-time partners at the City of Pawtucket,” a PawSox spokesperson said in an email to 12 News. “We will now allow the legal process to run its course, and therefore have no further comment at this time.”

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