WORCESTER, Mass. (WWLP) – History was made in Worcester Tuesday night as the Worcester Red Sox played their very first home game, in their brand new multi-million dollar stadium.
The city and local businesses are hoping this helps put Worcester back on the map. Baseball is back in Worcester and fans are calling it a home run! It’s been nearly 10 years since they could catch a game so close to home.
“I always sort of dream that Worcester would be the AAA affiliate,” said Joseph Scarczek of Worcester. “No offense to Pawtucket or anything like that.”
The city lured the Worcester Red Sox from Pawtucket, Rhode Island. They even helped build the $160 million ballpark, located in the city’s Canal District.
Local businesses in Worcester told our sister station WPRI that they are hopeful this team will bring new life to the neighborhood.
“It’s really cool that it’s within earshot. You can actually hear the announcers from inside the store sometimes,” Ethan Gilbert from Green Zone Smoke Shop said.
“I don’t know the full extent of the plan, but I know they’re going to keep going and going, and why not? Why not? We can use it here in Worcester,” Bill Lauden from Leather-Smith added.
Stanley Choruzek added, “So exciting. I’m so wicked excited that the people are out. The ball field, you can see the ball field.”
“I definitely think it’s going to bring a lot more people around,” said Donna Dunbar another Worcester resident. “It’s a great new attraction.”
It’s not just the stadium that’s new; new businesses are also popping up and the old ones are being spruced up.
“The White Eagle has been a Polish Club since 1937,” said Julie Sargentelli at the White Eagle. “We opened to the public. You know it’s the great working-class bar. We’ve done a ton of renovations. We have a game room. We have KENO. We have a pool. We have darts. We have the best drink prices on the street.”
Inside Polar Park, the WooSox played the Syracuse Mets, in front of about 2,400 fans. Fan capacity reduced significantly due to COVID-19. Once restrictions are lifted, the team owner and the city hope to invite 9,500 fans on game days.
The WooSox hit six home runs Tuesday night. The final score 8-5 (Worcester).
The team continues their inaugural six-game homestand at Polar Park Wednesday night, again against the Syracuse Mets.