Dear Members of the PawSox Community:
We are writing jointly and directly to you because this is an important time for the Pawtucket Red Sox, for the City of Pawtucket, and for the deep-rooted traditions of professional baseball in Rhode Island.
One year ago this month, the Mondor family, after nearly forty years of ownership, transferred the stewardship of this historic franchise to a group of New England investors, including several Rhode Islanders and a few people connected to the Boston Red Sox. That transfer and transition were not without bumps and bruises, as well as the tragic and unexpected death of new PawSox President Jim Skeffington, Sr. late last spring. The Club nonetheless carried on with Jim's dream of a new, widely-used, state-of-the-art, multipurpose ballpark in the heart of Providence, but it fell short of public and fan support.
As the second year of new ownership begins (really the first full year), the club has heard the people of Rhode Island loud and clear and has refocused itself. New ballpark planning has been put on the back burner, and our primary focus this year is on our fans and the McCoy Stadium experience. We are actively collaborating - the public and private sectors - with the shared goal of making the Pawtucket Red Sox a baseball, charitable, civic and entertainment success, and we need your help as we move forward.
Relations between the team and the city's officials have rebounded and are now open, candid and collaborative. We fully recognize that there remain serious challenges to the PawSox given the competitive advantages newer facilities afford many clubs in the International League, and the troublesome decline in attendance at McCoy Stadium over several years. (We also recognize that at least some of the 2015 decline was due to the slight many fans felt by the unsuccessful roll out of the plan to move to Providence.) We are determined to reverse that trend - beginning with the 2016 season which opens at McCoy Stadium on April 7th against Buffalo - and return the club to its rightful role and level of success.
We hope the members of the PawSox community - beginning with our loyal fan base: young and old; Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut; families; businesses and visitors - will join with us in making this a fresh start in the next great era of Rhode Island, PawSox and Red Sox baseball. Our traditions and baseball roots run deeply in this part of the country, and probably nowhere more deeply than right here in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Let's revive them, strengthen them and enjoy them anew.
Thank you for your support.
Larry Lucchino Donald R. Grebien
Chairman Mayor, City of Pawtucket
P.S. We are genuinely open to your input and urge every member of the PawSox community, from whatever zip code, to provide comments to us directly regarding your PawSox opinions and experiences. Thank you.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.