BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- It's official: the Pawtucket Red Sox are moving to Massachusetts.
The City of Worcester and the minor league team announced at a press conference Friday afternoon that they're joining to move the team to the city to become the Worcester Red Sox--and to build a multi-use ballpark in the city's Canal District, set to be completed in March 2021.
A look at the future home of the Worcester Red Sox. pic.twitter.com/OWP1Xs4EpN— Carl Stevens (@carlwbz) August 17, 2018
"Our city has baseball in its blood, so get ready, today, I am excited to announce that the AAA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox will be coming to Worcester," Mayor Joseph Petty said.
The site will also include hotels, retail, and housing, and the project will include the redesign of Kelley Square. It will also bring 500 new, full-time jobs to the city. The state government will also commit $35 million over the next 2-3 years to support market-rate housing at the development site.
.@MassLtGov: "Larry( Lucchino) you're a tough fish to catch, but we got you--(laughter, applause)." The PawSox are officially moving to Worcester. Look for the new Woo Way." #BaseBall #pawtucket #WooSox #Worcester— Laurie Kirby (@LaurieWBZ) August 17, 2018
The announcement ends years of back-and-forth between the cities of Pawtucket and Worcester. Pawtucket City Councilor Albert Vitali Jr. told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Nichole Davis the AAA-team's move is a major blow to his city.
"It's a tragedy, I believe, for the city of Pawtucket," he said. "We've been partners with them for over 75 years, and for them to be leaving the city, it's a very important component of our city, and it's devastating ... they're a fabric of our city, and it's almost like they're taking the heart out of our city by deciding to move."
He said many people pushed to keep the team in Pawtucket, and added that he believed they made the move for "strictly money."
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Nichole Davis talks to Pawtucket City Councilor Albert Vitali Jr.