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January 11, 2021

Pawtucket sues WooSox for alleged lack of ballpark upkeep

Photo | Matt Wright McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket

The Rhode Island city of Pawtucket is already losing its longtime Red Sox minor league baseball team, but it isn't quite turning the page.

Pawtucket is suing the now-Worcester Red Sox for what it alleges are the team's failure to perform required maintenance and repair of their longtime home, the city-owned McCoy Stadium. The team was due to play its last season at McCoy, its last of 50 years in the city, but the 2020 season was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The team is due to start playing in Polar Park in Worcester as soon as April, depending on whether games are played because of the pandemic.

The lawsuit was first reported Monday by WPRI in Providence. The Sox issued a brief statement Monday: "The Pawtucket Red Sox were stunned to learn of this unfounded lawsuit from our friends and long-time partners at the City of Pawtucket.  We will now allow the legal process to run its course, and therefore have no further comment at this time."

Pawtucket is alleging that the team didn't properly keep up McCoy Stadium, including when it continued to use the field last year for training purposes with its parent club, the Boston Red Sox. The city said it first notified the team last October of its failure to perform upkeep as described in their lease, and that there are no plans for the work to be done by the time the lease formally expires at the end of January, leaving the city with a facility it describes as in disrepair. 

The lawsuit was filed Jan. 7, one day before the team's proposed lease with the City of Worcester was made public. The 35-year lease is slated to be voted on by the Worcester Redevelopment Authority as soon as its Jan. 15 meeting.

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