Pawtucket, Rhode Island


Stadium Master Plan Advisory Services

In 2016, when the city of Pawtucket, Rhode Island wanted a detailed assessment of the potential to renovate or redevelop McCoy Stadium on its present site, it engaged Brailsford & Dunlavey. The stadium had been built in the early 1940s and was challenged by ongoing deterioration and deferred maintenance issues. In addition, many aspects of the baseball business had changed since that time due to market trends and demand, and the city strove to strategically maximize its investment in the stadium, ensure its safety and popularity, and maximize the game-day experience for players and fans alike.

B&D―on a team with Pendulum, BETA, SLAM, Arora, and Barton Malow―created a market analysis using numerous methods to gain an understanding of the Pawtucket market’s demographic and economic profile. The resultant work served as the framework for developing fiscal and economic benefits projections for the city of Pawtucket and the state of Rhode Island. Among these analyses were:

• A drive-time analysis to measure and evaluate the regional and local market demographics and economic conditions
• A peer review of the top 30 Major League-affiliated Triple-A markets by population, retail expenditures, and unadjusted household income
• A premium-seating share analysis, which was informed by the data above which analyzed the ratio of businesses or households to suites or club seats in the selected markets
• Attendance data from Minor League Baseball to inform macro-level trends in Triple-A baseball and event data to identify industry trends for non-baseball use of stadiums.
• An estimate of current economic and fiscal benefits generated by the stadium / franchise operations
• A comparison of demolishing the stadium and building new with renovating it to be in line with state-of-the-art standards

After synthesizing the findings of its assessments, B&D advised the city that the typical goal of public investments like the ones being considered (renovation or new development) could not be realized on the existing site. Rationale for this finding included:

• There are no opportunities for ancillary economic development activity
• Renovating will generate minimal return on the public’s investment
• The site’s limitations would remain unchanged even if a new facility were to be built there, thus limiting an ability to attract private investment and / or developers.