Pro Soccer Could Fill McCoy Stadium [PHIL-OSOPHY]
I've always believed, like Alexander Graham Bell said, "When one door closes, another opens."
Exactly one week after the Pawtucket Red Sox announced that the Triple-A baseball team will be known as the WooSox when it moves to Worcester, Rhode Island officials surprised everyone by announcing a $400-million soccer complex that would include a 7,500-seat stadium, and indoor sports center and a 200-room hotel on three sites in downtown Pawtucket, known as Tidewater Landing.
Between hosting a professional soccer team that will compete in the United Soccer League Championship club and the surrounding mixed-use development, this will be the largest economic development project in the history of Pawtucket to transform its waterfront along the Seekonk River. We're talking about a $400 million game plan that far exceeds anything the Red Sox could have offered.
The team's "placeholder" name, for now, is the Riptide, and it could be playing there by 2022. Originally founded in 1986, the United Soccer League has become one of the most sophisticated professional soccer organizations in the world.
The initiative will require $70 to $90 million in public investments, mostly from the state, and would create more than 3,500 jobs. I think it's a great idea. I remember my wife and I taking the kids to McCoy, and I can also see us going back to watch some professional soccer. This is a developing story that I'll keep you abreast of.
Go to uslsoccer.com to learn more.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.