After two snow-packed months, the apparent settling of the pension conflict, and Lincoln Chafee's surprising emergence as a possible presidential hopeful, Rhode Island confronts a sharp debate involving baseball, public dollars, and the future of the state. No pressure, right? Thanks, as always, for stopping by for my weekly column. Feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.
The debate over the Pawtucket Red Sox and a public subsidy to help keep the team in Rhode Island began in earnest Wednesday as PawSox ownership unveiled their much-anticipated plan for a $70 million ballpark next to the Providence River. According to the proposal, a 30-year lease/sublease agreement would have a net cost to the state of about $2 million a year.
PawSox ownership said its proposal does not include issuing any bonds or public debt, and that the team will pay for the full cost of the design and construction of its envisioned 10,000 seat ballpark.
The owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox plan to unveil Wednesday afternoon their proposal for building a new ballpark in Providence. Some observers are excited about the move to bring professional baseball to Rhode Island’s capital city. Yet others are wary about using public dollars for a private enterprise. There’s also debate about using part of a site targeted for high-wage jobs.
The new owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox hosted a walking tour Thursday of the proposed site for a new stadium in Providence. The owners want to move the team from Pawtucket, but there are questions about their plan.
The new owners group wants to build a 10-thousand seat baseball stadium, on a piece of former highway land near downtown Providence. Some of that land was set aside for a public park. But the owners say it’s ideal for a stadium because of its central location, close to amenities and public transit.