Post by rf1 on Jun 24, 2018 17:46:26 GMT -5
I certainly admire your support for keeping the AAA team in Pawtucket but if I recall rightly, the PawSox were looking to become the ProSox by moving to Providence because Pawtucket really isn't the Garden of Eden and they thought a downtown location would be a big success. PVD demurred. So, this isn't a "Providence is a bigger market than Worcester" discussion. It is Worcester vs. Pawtucket.
Worcester has historically been the second largest city in New England to Boston. Providence has beaten them out a couple of census years, so it's close. Last I saw, Worcester took the lead again. I don't think there are a lot of Westerly fans of the PawSox and going to McCoy, or Newport or (name any RI town 10 miles south of Providence). The very newness of having an AAA-level baseball team in Worcester would draw better, at least initially, than Pawtucket. A new Pawtucket stadium is probably not going to drive a lot of new PawSox fans but will make those who already fans happy. A new team and a new stadium in Worcester will likely draw better in the long run especially if they play well.
As for TV, how many people watch the PawSox on RI TV? (sort of rhetorical as the answer is likely virtually nil and on a cable channel).
Whatever the decision, it'll be interesting because the Sox owners will owe everyone an explanation of why they chose the way they did as this looks like a toss-up to me.
The Pawtucket Red Sox draw from the entire Providence market which extends into much of RI and even nearby SE MA. They are very much part of the region. One cannot restrict the market to only its home city as its attendance comes from a much wider area.
As for loyalty, it is sadly not followed as much these days. If it were solely up to Luchinni and dependent only on the stadium team investment, Worcester would be the destination without doubt based on rumors of its proposal. Luchinno is however just one of a partnership whose interest distribution is not generally known. Most of the other partners have deep RI connections which could play a part in the decision making. I still contend the yearly revenue stream potential is greater in RI via more attendance and corporate sponsorships. It may come down to short term stadium investment (favors Worcester) versus long term revenue stream (favors RI).
While Worcester is the second largest city in New England, most of this is due to it having more than twice the land area size of Providence (Providence: 18.5 land sq miles 180K pop - Worcester 37.6 land sq miles 184K pop: The Providence metro area is listed as the 38th largest in the US with 1,621,122 while Worcester is #58 at 942,475. Pawtucket has only 8.7 sq land miles with 71K residents. If Pawtucket was combined with Providence, the combined cities would still be far smaller in area than Worcester but have some 70k more people. Keep in mind the Pawtucket stadium will be just 4 miles up Route 95 from downtown Providence which is basically a five minute drive.
While I do not argue that there are not large numbers of people going to games driving from Westerly or Newport, the same would be true for similar distance to Worcester. Most patrons going to the games probably come from within 25 miles of the stadium (this would include many SE MA towns and cities as the stadium site would be a 1/2mile from the state line). That is why I believe the tight densely populated urban area in and around Providence-Pawtucket gives it a distinct advantage over Worcester. A Worcester team would have to draw heavily from the western Boston suburbs to succeed. Most residents of these towns however direct all attention eastward and give little thought to Worcester and other points west of them.
As for tv, entire games being on tv is a relatively new thing and is more of a weekly occurence. The games are on myRITV which is a cable only venture run by WPRI Channel 12 (it is however on all the RI and MA cable networks on a channel in and around the main over the air stations - North Attleborough/SE MA Comcast has it on ch 820 for HD with all the main Boston and Providence stations located from 801-820). The more important factor regarding tv (versus the actual entire game telecast) is the daily reporting of scores and highlights on the four local Providence newscasts as this keeps the team continually in the public eye at no team cost.
It is a horrible thing that two cities that share opposite ends of the Blackstone River National Heritage Corridor have been pitted against one another by ownership. This has further increased the necessary taxpayer investment and will ultimately result in hurt feelings. Neither RI or Worcester will totally win in the end. The chosen city may get the team but they will do so at a steeper taxpayer cost.
Having connections to both cities (Pawtucket native that lives just five miles from there now in North Attleborough and Worcester college grad that lived or worked in Worcester County for some ten years), I can understand the pros/cons and see the perspectives of both sides.