Remember when Larry Lucchino and John Moores said that a fat ballpark subsidy for a team owned by a mega-millionaire was a civic good — something akin to godliness and cleanliness?
After getting San Diego taxpayers to line Moores’ pockets to the tune of a billion dollars, Lucchino went on to Boston, where he was president of the Red Sox. However, the owners didn’t want a subsidy and poured their own bucks into old Fenway Park. Lucchino suddenly changed his stripes, and his tune: Fans “get annoyed when teams get taxpayers to build a stadium, and then raise ticket and concessions prices for the very people who paid for it,” he told the Wall Street Journal. That’s precisely what the Padres had done in San Diego. The Red Sox would rehabilitate the old field without taking “a dime of public money,” boasted Lucchino.
Then the Red Sox sank in the standings and Lucchino was out as president. But he became a part owner of the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Boston farm team. Right away, Lucchino and his confreres began fishing for a public subsidy to move the team to Providence. But that didn’t work out, so on Friday (August 17), the Pawtucket team announced that it would be moving to Worcester, Massachusetts, which would build it a new ballpark.
The team would seemingly get a juicier subsidy from Worcester. According to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, the cost of the ballpark will be $86 million to $90 million. The city will borrow the money to pay for it. By contrast, the last offer from Pawtucket was the team paying $45 million of the $83 million project, and being responsible for cost overruns. The state would finance the remaining $38 millions through bonds, according to boston.com.