– News covered by Quincy Quarry News.
Moody’s gives Worcester ballpark bonds same credit rating as its rating of Quincy.
Moody’s has assigned Worcester ballpark bonds an Aa3 credit rating, the same rating it has assigned to Quincy‘s general obligation bond debt.
Aa3 is Moody’s lowest rating for second-tier municipal debt.
The $27.5 million bond sale is the first installment of a $100.8 million bond issuance to finance construction of the ballpark and part of a larger $240 million municipal redevelopment plan for downtown Worcester.
The city-owned baseball park is for the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Triple A minor league affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.
The owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox have agreed to move to Worcester as well as lease the Worcester ballpark.
“We project the new ballpark and other capital funding will increase Worcester’s already large amount of debt outstanding by an average of 6 percent annually over the next three years. The increase, however, comes as the city’s economy and tax base continue to grow — factors that contributed to the Red Sox affiliate’s decision to move to Worcester from Rhode Island,” Moody’s senior analyst Nick Lehman said in a statement.
“Assuming tax base growth continues at or near the current rate, the city’s leverage will remain manageable and the ballpark issuance will not strain its credit profile.”
Construction of the stadium, to be called Polar Park, is scheduled to begin in July 2019 and be completed by March 2021 in time for the start of the 2021 baseball season.