A million here, a million there and it starts to add up.
The Pawtucket Red Sox International League Triple A franchise affiliate of the Boston Red Sox will be headed to Worcester, Massachusetts in a year. Once there the franchise will be playing in possibly the most expensive minor league baseball stadium ever built. The project will now cost $132 million. Initially, Massachusetts taxpayers were required to throw $35 million into a $99 million deal which would be, if you believe the Red Sox owners and politicians, an economic generator for Worcester. The Red Sox owners claim the ballpark they are building will be the anchor for a stadium village that will also have an apartment building, two hotels because minor league baseball fans will be flocking to Worcester, along with restaurants and retail space. Somehow this project is going to create 500 full time jobs and 2,000 part time jobs. Those part time jobs could include ticket takers, parking lot attendants, restaurant workers who get tips along with people who clean hotel rooms and rely on tips. At the stores, there probably will be minimum wage positions available. The players, the guys who are the stars that attract people to come to games, will continue to live on the poverty line because a minor league player is a seasonal employee. In fact, just about all minor league baseball employees get paid very little or are college students interning.
Worcester and Massachusetts officials are ignoring that factor as they are telling taxpayers they have to invest in the Red Sox owners’ plan. That plan should guarantee them more revenue streams than were available in Pawtucket. Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, who counts both Pawtucket and Worcester within his baseball market, said it’s too bad things didn’t work in Pawtucket. But it is good for Worcester owners’ and some Worcester parking lot attendants’ pockets.