Pawtucket Red Sox

Deflated footballs proved more newsworthy than a Super Bowl trophy, NCAA hockey championship hardware and the bill of sale for a beloved minor-league baseball franchise this year. Eleven months after the New England Patriots used underinflated footballs in the first half of the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts, Deflategate drags on. That’s why it is without question THE sports story of 2015 in Rhode Island and the rest of New England.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Once again, an independent agency has questioned Providence city government’s financial direction. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders why Mayor Jorge Elorza and the city council aren’t taking this more seriously.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Following the announcement that the Pawtucket Red Sox would not pursue a new stadium on a parcel of downtown Providence land, Pawtucket’s mayor Donald Grebien joins our Political Roundtable. He talks about sagging numbers at McCoy Stadium, economic development in the city, and the Pope’s U.S. visit.

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The plan for a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox in Providence has hit a roadblock. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses how this field of dreams turned into a nightmare.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A proposed ballpark for the PawSox in Providence and the vacant so-called Superman Building might seem to have little in common. Yet both raise questions involving economic development and the possible use of taxpayer subsidies. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The National Governors Association’s annual summer meeting will be held in Rhode Island in 2017, the NGA announced Monday.

"We’re excited to bring the nation’s governors to Rhode Island, and we thank Gov. Gina Raimondo for her invitation,’’ said Gov. Terry McAuliffe, vice-chair of the NGA.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says lawmakers are unlikely to consider a revised proposal for a Pawtucket Red Sox stadium in Providence until their next regular session in January.

Mattiello pointed to concerns about the ownership of the intended ballpark site, part of which is owned by Brown University, as well as an ongoing review related to an elaborate storm-water runoff system underneath the site.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Opponents of a new Pawtucket Red Sox stadium in Providence say they have gathered enough signatures to ask the City Council to effectively block the proposal. They plan to pursue that approach when the council returns from its August recess next month.

  Thank goodness for a new week. Could last week have been any worse for Boston sports?

Another day in Providence, another desultory meeting on the plan to move the Pawtucket Red Sox from McCoy Stadium to a new ballpark to be built on the capital city’s downtown waterfront.

Today’s meeting featured Pat O’Conner, president and CEO of Minor League Baseball, who spoke about the finances of minor league stadiums around the nation at a meeting with reporters, labor leaders and a small group of state lawmakers at the offices of the Locke Lord LLC law firm.

One of the principals of the new Pawtucket Red Sox ownership has died abruptly and was laid to rest over the weekend.. RIPR Political Analyst Scott MacKay assays the future of the Providence stadium plan.

Jim Skeffington cut quite a figure in Rhode Island. The Providence native scaled the heights of the legal profession in his hometown and was the go-to-guy for political and business deals. His bespoke bankers’ pinstripes and Ferragamo ties masked a sharp understanding, from the bottom up, of Rhode Island’s florid political and business cultures.

Despite interest from other communities, the PawSox say they remain focused on moving the team to Providence. New Bedford officials have indicated a desire to attract the PawSox if things don’t work out in the Ocean State.

PawSox spokeswoman Patti Doyle said the team’s ownership continues to focus on what it calls Plan A – wining support for the construction of a new ballpark near downtown Providence.

City councilors in New Bedford said they’d like to interest the PawSox in relocating there, but recognize that Rhode Island is the team’s first choice.

RIPR file photo

  The 195 Redevelopment Commission has decided to open to the public Monday’s meeting with the new owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox, who want to move the team from McCoy Stadium to a new ballpark that would be built on about 9 acres of former 195 land on the Providence riverfront.

Principal owners Larry Lucchino and James Skeffington are scheduled to discuss the stadium plans with commission members. The meeting was originally scheduled as an executive session that was to have been closed to the public.

The debate over Rhode Island taxpayer support for a new stadium for the PawSox in Providence has started. RIPR Political Analyst Scott MacKay talks about state government’s next move.

Listening to the opening salvos in the Providence stadium debate reminds one of William Faulkner’s dictum about the American South: "The past is never dead. It isn’t even past.’’

One interest group that is already lining up support for a new Pawtucket Red Sox stadium in Providence: Organized labor.

Scott Duhamel, secretary-treasurer of the Rhode Island Building Trades Council emerged from a press briefing this afternoon by James Skeffington, president of the team and quickly said the building trades unions are planning to be vocal backers of the deal.

``We are all in, 100 percent,’’ said Duhamel. ``This may end up being our number one legislative priority this year.’’

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