City Hall through the Fountain
Frequently Asked Questions

Where will the ballpark be located?

​The ballpark will be located on the northern portion of the former Wyman-Gordon site. The triangular parcel is surrounded by Madison St. to the south, the CSX railroad to the north and west, Washington St. and Summit St. to the east and a northern terminus at the city-owned Pickett Municipal parking lot on Green St.

Does the City own the proposed ballpark parcel?

The City has negotiated an agreement with Madison Properties to transfer ownership of the ballpark parcel to the City.

Who will design the ballpark?  

The City and the Ball Club have agreed that the planning, design, development, and construction process shall be a cooperative, mutual endeavor in which the City and the Ball Club will work together and participate cooperatively in joint partnership in all phases of the process.

The Ball Club, as the party with experience in planning, designing, developing, and constructing baseball parks in urban environments, will take the lead in directing the development of the Ballpark Design Plan. Larry Lucchino and Janet Marie Smith are the foremost leaders in ballpark design in the country. They are responsible for the return of ballparks to urban environments after years of suburban relocation in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Their resumes include overseeing the construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Petco Park in San Diego and the renovations to Fenway Park in Boston. They will bring their significant experience to the oversight of the Worcester ballpark.

Who is building the ballpark?

The City, as the Owner of the Ballpark Parcel, will procure and retain the Designer, as well as the owner’s project manager (“OPM”) and the construction manager at risk (“CM”) otherwise known as the “Ballpark Delivery Ball Club." The City shall procure, oversee, manage and execute the contracts with the Ballpark Delivery Ball Club who shall perform and implement the planning, design and construction of the Ballpark.

Larry Lucchino
Janet Marie Smith

What role will the club have in designing the ballpark?

How do we know the design and construction of the ballpark is going to be a fair process?

The City is the owner of the Ballpark Parcel and the governing body with responsibility to adhere to all applicable public procurement laws in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

How large is the ballpark?

The ballpark is still in the design stage but it is expected to sit on 6 acres of land and encompass the entirety of the WG North parcel with Madison St. to the south, the CSX railroad to the west, Washington St. and Summit St. to the east and a northern terminus at the city-owned Pickett Municipal parking lot on Green St. 

What is the ballpark's capacity?

The ballpark capacity will be 9,000-10,000 patrons.

Does the proposed site have environmental or geotechnical issues?

The environmental conditions of the ballpark parcel are not expected to require significant remediation costs. The site has a MassDEP filing which gives the indication that there are no environmental issues.

How many events will be held at the ballpark

in a typical year?

The ballpark will host at least 120 events annually including road races, large scale concerts, collegiate/high school sporting events, fireworks and other community events. The goal is to program the ballpark as often as possible. 

What happens when the ballpark is not being used by the Ball Club?

Areas of the ballpark will be accessible to the public year round. A full list of public amenities will be determined in the design of the ballpark.  

What types of entertainment will the ballpark attract?

The ballpark will be able to accommodate large-scale, nationally touring acts including concerts and other entertainment offerings with a capacity of approximately 10,000 people.

Who will own the ballpark?

The City of Worcester will own the ballpark.

Who will operate the ballpark?

The City will lease the ballpark to the Club for a 30-year term. The Club will be responsible for all operating expenses, including all security and utilities costs, as well as routine maintenance and repairs.  Certain larger repairs and improvements will be shared by the Ball Club and the City following the development of a capital plan prepared by a joint capital improvement committee.

Ballpark Illustration Behind Home Plate

Who will pay for capital repairs?

Capital repairs to the ballpark will be covered through a Capital Facilities Fund with oversight by the City and the Club. Revenue for the Capital Facilities Fund will come from a facility fee as well as any cost savings in the construction of the ballpark.

What is a facility fee?

The City will be responsible for all large capital repairs through a Capital Fund, which will be primarily funded through a facility fee included in the price of a ticket to an event at the ballpark. The amount of the facility fee will be dependent on the type of event. 

Jantzen Witte interviewed by Mike Monaco

What other amenities will be at the ballpark?

Amenities at the ballpark will be determined through the design process by the City and the Club with a vision to create the most state-of-the art, technologically sophisticated, and entertaining ballpark in the country.   

Will any other Ball Clubs use the ballpark as their home field?

The City and Club are entertaining 3rd party agreements for use of the ballpark by college or university baseball Ball Clubs. 

Is the City going to take property by eminent domain to construct the ballpark?

The City and Madison Properties are working with property owners to assemble the necessary land to build the ballpark. The goal is to negotiate with the property owners the purchase of the necessary parcels. 

Yes. In addition to the Madison Properties development to occur concurrently with the construction of the ballpark, additional development is anticipated in the Green Island neighborhood, the Canal District and other areas of the City as a result of the new ballpark.

How will the ballpark fit into the existing

Canal District?

The architecture, siting, and overall design of the ballpark will pay considerable attention to the unique characteristics of the Canal District. The ballpark will be designed to seamlessly fit into the Canal District and complement the existing feel of the area.

Development Around Ballpark

Is there any other development expected

around the park?

How do I get to the ballpark? 

The ballpark is readily accessible by driving, walking, biking, or transit.  The ballpark is proximate to Union Station, the WRTA bus hub, and downtown Worcester, and within a short walk of more than 6,000 public parking spaces. The current street network to and within the Canal District will be improved, and a new roadway will link the ballpark site to Rt. 146 via Quinsigamond Ave. 

Financial Questions

What is the budget for the ballpark?

The budget for the ballpark is $86-$90M and includes design, construction and outfitting the ballpark. The exact cost of the ballpark will be dependent on the design of the ballpark which is not yet complete. 

How much will the city borrow for the project?

The City will borrow approximately $100M in general obligations bonds; $70M for construction costs supported by new revenues from the DIF district; and $30M supported by revenue from the Club. 

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How much will the Club contribute to the cost of the ballpark?

The Club will contribute approximately $36M consisting of $6M in an equity contribution and $30M in Ballpark rent.

How much will the Club contribute to the cost of the ballpark?  

The Club will contribute approximately $36M consisting of $6M in an equity contribution and $30M in Ballpark rent.

How do you know the City will be able to pay back the bonds? 

The City is using a conservative pro forma that shows enough revenue to support the debt service on the bonds.

Is taxpayer money going to the building of this stadium? If so, how much?

City tax revenue generated in the DIF District will be used to fund the ballpark project. No existing city tax revenue will be used to fund the ballpark project. 

Will tax money be used for the ballpark or any part of the development?

The City will create a District Improvement Financing (DIF) District that encompasses the ballpark parcel and the WG South. New taxes generated within the DIF District will be used to pay for the ballpark. 

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How much is the state contributing?

The State is contributing more than $60M for the project, including funding for the parking structure on WG South, HDIP tax incentives for Madison Properties, street improvements around the ballpark. Approximately $18M of these funds will be dedicated to the redesign and reconstruction of Kelley Square and connecting streets. 

How much will the debt service be per year?

Proforma

How do you know the City will be able to pay back the bonds? 

The City is using a conservative pro forma that shows enough revenue to support the debt service on the bonds.

How much is the state contributing?

The State is contributing more than $60M for the project, including funding for the parking structure on WG South, HDIP tax incentives for Madison Properties, street improvements around the ballpark. Approximately $18M of these funds will be dedicated to the redesign and reconstruction of Kelley Square and connecting streets. 

Who will pay for cost overruns?

The club is responsible for any cost overruns should the cost of the ballpark go above $86M (no conduit costs) or $90M (with conduit costs).

What types of revenue will be used to pay off the city's bonds? 

Ball Club rent and the Ball Club equity contribution, garage rent, hotel tax, meals tax and property tax from the DIF District, advertising revenue and parking fees. 

Is the Ball Club able to meet its financial obligations in this proposal?

The Ball Club has agreed to allow the City Auditor to review  and confirm the Ball Club’s financial capacity to meet the requirements of the negotiated agreement. The City Auditor is an employee of the City Council.

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Community Impact Questions

How will the city afford the ballpark and the new high schools at the same time?

The ballpark project proposal is self-funded and will not impact the two new currently planned highschools, or any other City funding commitments. The City will ensure that its bond rating will not be negatively impacted by the increased borrowing by receiving private approval before issuing the bonds. The ballpark debt will be paid for by the new revenues generated in the DIF District. Essentially, the ballpark will pay for itself and not interfere with funding for the new high schools.

Will local workers be used for the construction projects?

By statute the City cannot specifically require local labor however the City expects considerable local presence in the construction of the ballpark and ancillary development 

How does this redevelopment fit into the Downtown Urban Revitalization Plan?

The Worcester Redevelopment Authority will amend the existing Urban Revitalization Plan (URP) to include all parcels needed for the ballpark and ancillary development. The URP focuses on revitalizing the downtown area by publicizing arts and tourism destinations, improving the visitor experience, attracting new or expanding existing commercial and industrial users, enhancing residential quality of life, and remediating brownfields to increase developable land area. The Worcester ballpark project and ancillary development meets the goals of the URP.

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How will local public schools benefit from the ballpark?

Worcester public school students will receive one free general admission ticket to a baseball game per season. In addition, the Ball Club will offer free ballpark tours to all Worcester schools and youth organizations, host "Worcester School Days" at the ballpark and permit public access to areas in the ballpark. City high school students will have the opportunity to play games at the ballpark. The Ball Club will also provide summer jobs for Worcester youth and help fund the Recreation Worcester program. 

Can I use the ballpark to exercise or sit outdoors during non-event days? 

Subject to final design, public access to the ballpark will include the opportunity to jog or walk around the concourse, run the ballpark stairs, and eat lunch overlooking the field or use exercise stations in designated fitness areas as well as public park amenities adjacent to the ballpark. 

Will I be charged for public access? 

No. Non-event public access will be

free of charge. 

What other public benefits are part of the proposal? 

Beyond the Ball Club's core value to be a strong community member, the Ball Club will collaborate with local arts organizations, such as Pow! Wow! Worcester, to display local art at the Ballpark and on the Ballpark Parcel, host City-approved bike share programs, provide the City with access to digital signage at the Ballpark for municipal announcements, community recognitions, and other community-oriented messaging at no cost.

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Will the Canal District and Green Island neighborhood be given special benefits? 

The Ball Club will allow a luxury box to be used for Community Events and meetings, such as the Canal District Alliance and Green Island Neighborhood Association meeting. The Ball Club will also become members of the Canal District Alliance and actively participate and collaborate in activities sponsored by the Canal District Alliance and the Green Island neighborhood.

Will the City have access to a luxury suite? 

The Ball Club will provide access to a City controlled luxury box to be used for special events, community meetings, and other efforts to market the City. 

How much will other sports Ball Clubs (high schools, college, little league) have to pay to use the stadium?

The agreement between the City and Ball Club will allow the use of the ballpark free of charge for special amateur, non-collegiate baseball events such as high school baseball tournaments and state championships. Third party, collegiate games are subject to negotiation between the Ball Club and the college/university. 

How will ballpark security be handled? 

The Ball Club is responsible for security within the ballpark.  

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How will traffic in the neighborhood be mitigated? 

The City and State will spend significant resources to improve accessibility to the ballpark and surrounding neighborhoods.  In addition to area-wide street, bicycle and pedestrian improvements, Kelley Square will be reconstructed to improve traffic safety and accommodate anticipated traffic and pedestrians alike. Improvements are also being made to Lamartine St. to establish a new direct route between Rt. 146 and the ballpark via Quinsigamond Avenue. 

State Questions

How is the Commonwealth of Massachusetts involved in this proposal? 

The State has been an integral partner in the negotiation for the relocation of the Boston Red Sox Triple-A affiliate. The total state contribution is more than $60M. All funding will be used for infrastructure improvements around the ballpark including Kelley Square. and the construction of a parking structure. No state funding will be used toward the design or construction of the ballpark. 

Where is the state money coming from? 

The State will provide the City with capital funds to support infrastructure improvements around the ballpark.

Is the state offering any tax incentives? 

The State will provide Madison Properties a tax incentive of $2.5M through the Housing Development Incentive Program.

What benefit will the state receive from this project 

The state will receive additional income tax and sales tax revenues resulting from the relocation of the Ball Club to Massachusetts, the development associated with the project, other ancillary development resulting from the project, and both construction–related and permanent jobs. 

Infrastructure Questions

Will the reconstructed roads be more walkable/bikeable?

Yes. The improved road infrastructure will be designed for all modes of transportation and will follow the City’s Complete Streets policy. Special attention will be given to pedestrian and bike safety.

What roads will be reconstructed or improved? 

Improvements will be made to the following streets: Plymouth St., Gold St., Ash St., Summit St., Washington St., Madison St., Lamartine St., Green St., Harding St, Winter St., and Kelley Square.

Will any new roads be constructed? 

Yes. A new road bisecting WG South will be constructed to allow for convenient access to the new development and access to the ballpark from RT 146 via Quinsigamond Avenue and Lamartine Street. Lamartine Street will be improved between Quinsigamond Avenue and Herman Street in conjunction with the construction of this new roadway.

Will any new pedestrian plazas be constructed? 

Yes. The Pickett Lot located on Green St. near Temple St. will be redesigned as a pedestrian-friendly plaza and a main entrance to the ballpark. 

Will any new parks be constructed? 

Yes. The ballpark masterplan and infrastructure master plan identify areas in the new development for public parks and other public amenities. The locations and specifics of these amenities are still in design however the Ball Club, City and Madison Properties recognize the importance of additional public and green space in the area. 

What about the Green St. underpass and Madison St. underpass? 

Improvements will be made to the Green St. underpass and Madison St. underpass to create more vibrant entry points into the Canal District and the ballpark. Public art, lighting features, unique signage and other amenities are being considered. 

What about streetscape improvements? 

The Ball Club, City and Madison Properties funded the creation of an infrastructure masterplan that will serve as a guiding document for streetscape improvements. All parties recognize the importance of creating a vibrant, safe and inviting district that accounts for the historical significance of the Canal District and its unique characteristics. This includes appropriate landscaping, street furniture, public art, building materials and wayfinding tools. 

 

Will construction create parking, traffic and other headaches in the district? 

Yes. Like any construction project, temporary inconveniences will surely be present. However, the long-lasting positive impact of the construction and infrastructure improvements will outweigh the short-term disruptions.  Access to neighboring businesses and residents will be maintained throughout the construction period.

How long will construction last? 

Construction is set to begin in Spring of 2019 with substantial completion by March 2021. Design for the infrastructure improvements is just underway.

How will the city mitigate impacts of construction? 

The City and State will utilize best practices to mitigate construction impacts on the community. Considerable efforts will be made to appropriately communicate timelines, scope of work, and negative impacts that may arise from a particular piece of the construction. 

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Infrastructure Questions

Is there enough parking to accommodate a ballpark and ancillary development? 

The City, the Club and Madison Properties have funded an infrastructure master plan to identify parking needs in the area. With state funding, the City is constructing a parking garage on WG South, and additional parking areas will be located on the ballpark parcel and development sites. There are more than 6,000 parking spaces available for public use within a ½-mile radius of the ballpark.

Will there be metered street parking?

Yes, where space is available, on-street metered parking will be provided in the District. 

How do we know there will be enough parking? 

A consultant study was conducted to endure that available parking for both game day and non-game conditions to determine that parking needs are met.

Where are people going to park?

Parking attendees will have a variety of parking options available.  In addition to parking provided on-site, there are more than 6,000 parking spaces available for public within a 10-minute walk of the ballpark site.

Miscellaneous Questions

What happens if the club moves?

The City has a 15 year no relocation covenant with the Club. In year 16 the Club has the right to buy out the last 15 years of their lease should they choose.

What other approvals are needed to finalize this transaction? 

The Club and City have come to terms on a Letter of Intent. Both the Club and the City need approvals from their governing bodies, Major and Minor League Baseball, the International League and the Worcester City Council respectively. Approval will also be needed from the Worcester Redevelopment Authority.

What process is going to be followed to make sure that I have a voice in the project? 

The City Council approval process includes opportunities for the public to weigh in on the agreement. The proposal will have multiple public hearings before a final vote of the Council to approve the terms and conditions of the agreement between the City and the Club. The Worcester Redevelopment Authority will also host public meetings as part of the approval process. 

Are my taxes going to go up as a result of building this stadium?

No. The residential and commercial tax rate is determined each year by the City Council. The negotiated agreement results in a ballpark project that pays for itself and will not impact the City's tax rates. 

How much will the new stadium cost me as an individual taxpayer?

The ballpark will be fully paid for by revenues generated by the ballpark and surrounding development; taxes will not be increased. 

What if the Ball Club goes bankrupt?

The Ball Club is formally owned by the International League (IL).  The IL has to approve the Ball Club’s lease and is legally bound to enforce it. 

 

Will the Ball Club receive any tax breaks?

No.

Wyman Gordon South Questions

Who is developing the South Side of the former Wyman Gordon (WG South) parcel? 

Madison Properties

The ballpark will be located on the north side of Wyman Gordon (WG North), what happens on the south side? 

Madison Properties has agreed to construct 225 market rate apartments, a 150- room hotel, and 50,000 SF of retail/restaurants by January 1, 2021 as part of a Phase 1 of development. Phase 2 is project to include 200,000 SF of residential, office and/or mixed use development. 

Is the developer also building on WG North?

Madison Properties has agreed to construct a second 100-room hotel behind left field of the ballpark as well as 15,000 SF of retail and 200-280 parking spaces.

Where will parking be located on WG South? 

The City with funding from the State will construct a 350-500 space garage. Madison Properties will lease the garage from the City. 

Is the developer also building on WG North as well? 

Madison Properties has agreed to construct a second 100-room hotel behind left field of the ballpark as well as 15,000 SF of retail and 200-280 parking spaces.

Where will parking be located on WG South? 

The City with funding from the State will construct a 350-500 space garage. Madison Properties will lease the garage from the City. 

Are tax incentives part of a public process? 

Yes. The City's "Tax Increment Financing" Policy requires Council approval as well approval by the Worcester Jobs Fund and the City Council Economic Development Committee. 

Is the developer receiving any other incentives? 

Yes. The City incentives include a Tax Increment Exemption (TIE) for the WG South apartments and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for the WG South hotel from the City. The State incentives has agreed to provide Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP) tax credits for the WG South apartments. The City has also agreed to waive certain development fees. 

Is the City receiving benefits from the tax incentives provided? 

Beyond the significant new tax revenue the city and state will receive as part of the new development, Madison Properties has also acquired WG North and South from Wyman Gordon and transferred ownership of a portion of Wyman Gordon north to the city in order to build the ballpark and a portion of WG South to build the parking structure. 

Is the agreement between Madison Properties and the City a public document? 

Yes. Specifics of the agreement between Madison Properties and the City can be found in the Letter of Intent/Expression of Objectives Green Island Redevelopment Project document.  

Is any other development expected around the ballpark? 

Yes. In addition to the Madison Properties development to occur concurrently with the construction of the ballpark, additional development is anticipated in the Green Island neighborhood, the Canal District and other areas of the City as a result of the new ballpark  

What type of hotel will be on WG South? 

The hotel on the WG South site will be a standard limited services hotel.

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What type of hotel will be on WG North? 

The hotel on the WG North is planned to be a boutique hotel and be sited near the left field of the ballpark.

Are the Club and Madison Properties working together on the overall project? 

Yes. The Club, Madison Properties, City and State are working collaboratively to ensure alignment with all projects and appropriate connectivity. 

Kelley Square Questions

Why is Kelley Square redesign important? 

According to MassDOT data, Kelley Square experiences more crashes than any  other intersection in the state. MassDOT has agreed to redesign and reconstruct Kelley Square in order to address safety, better accommodate traffic movements, and improve bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.

How long will it take for Kelley Square to be completed? 

The reconfigured Kelley Square is slated to be completed by March 2021.

Will the design of Kelley Square be a public process? 

Yes. Design of Kelley Square will be a public process with initial review prior to the 10% design completion date. 

How will the new design of Kelley Square affect the businesses surrounding it?

The design will make travel through Kelley Square safer and easier for all users, including drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists, which will improve access to neighboring businesses.

During construction, how will businesses operate?

The City and State will use best practices to limit impacts and ensure access to businesses during construction.

How will traffic be managed during construction?

MassDOT is in the early stages of design for Kelley Square. How traffic is accommodated during construction is dependent on the final design, but maintaining access will be a critical component of the construction phase. 

How confident are you in the schedule?

The City and State are working collaboratively to ensure that the Kelley Square reconstruction is completed before the opening of the Ballpark and with as little impact as possible. 

Will the new Kelley Square lower traffic incidents/accidents?

The project will considerably reduce crashes at Kelley Square by better defining and controlling vehicular movements so that conflicts between turning vehicles are reduced and navigating the intersection is less confusing.  Accommodations for pedestrians and bicyclists will be improved as well, better linking the Green Island and Canal District.

How will the Kelley Square improvements affect highway traffic?

A goal of the project will be to reduce the frequency and duration of queuing on the I-290 ramps.

What will be the total cost of Kelley Square construction?

The reconstruction of Kelley Square and associated connecting streets is estimated to cost approximately $17M.

Will city tax dollars be used on the construction?

Design and construction of Kelly Sq. will be funded by the State using both state and federal dollars. The City is only required to fund any costs necessary to create the right-of-way. 

What changes are proposed for Madison Street?

Madison Street will be transformed into an active urban street, with the ballpark and a mix of hotel, residential and retail uses fronting it.  The street will be redesigned to discourage speeding, improve access to neighboring uses, and provide a comfortable and safe environment for walking.  While Madison Street will still be an important vehicular corridor, it will also become a destination in its own right. 

What league will the Ball Club play in?

The International League (North)

What will the name of the Ball Club be?

The Ball Club will be called the Worcester Red Sox.

What will be the average attendance for baseball games?

The average attendance in the Triple-A International League is 6,590. With a new ballpark and a strong fan base,  Worcester is expected to be one of the top performing ballparks in per game attendance in the country. 

Ball Club Questions
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