Around New England

Worcester Hoping To Lure ACC Baseball Championship To Polar Park

September 13, 2023

The Worcester City Council has asked the city manager to try to get the Atlantic Coast Conference to use Polar Park in Worcester for the conference’s baseball championship.

The city council’s order, which was on the agenda for the council meeting Tuesday, September 12, directs the city manager to coordinate with the Worcester Red Sox, which leases the park and uses it during the baseball season; the Worcester Chamber of Commerce; and Boston College, which is the only Atlantic Coast Conference team in Massachusetts.

The Atlantic Coast Conference championship typically takes place in May. The most recent tournament this past spring took place in a 10,000-seat stadium in Durham, North Carolina.

Boston College went 37-20 in the spring 2023 season (16-14 in the conference), reaching the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 double-elimination Regionals. B.C. lost the first game and won the next two, before losing again to end its season. B.C. was two wins away from making the Super Regionals game; a win there would have qualified the B.C. for the eight-team College World Series.

Polar Park, which seats 9,508, opened in May 2021. The park is owned by the city, which had it built and paid about 55 percent of the $159 million cost.

City officials say that by the end of the Worcester Red Sox’s 30-year lease, the park will have generated a net $20 to $25 million in revenue to the city.

Economists have found that publicly financed sports stadiums are generally net losers for the local government.

 

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