PawSox Cool To Revised Senate Stadium Legislation

Dec 11, 2017

The Pawtucket Red Sox management says it has concerns with and is not ready to get behind a revised stadium financing plan floated last week by the Rhode Island Senate Finance Committee.

In a statement, team President Charles Steinberg said the club’s officials haven’t had time to fully parse the new language. But he said among the concerns are that the state’s annual investment exceeds the annual tax revenue it receives. Steinberg also said defended the team, saying owners are “taking the most significant and likely risks to ensure that this once-in-a -generation project comes to fruition for Rhode Island.’’

Steinberg, president of the team which is the Boston Red Sox top minor league club, also lamented that the protracted negotiations and the lack of General Assembly action on a new stadium deal has pushed the completion date of a new ballpark past the April, 2020 target.

“We have lost that year, but we have not lost hope our hope that the House and Senate will exhibit the necessary leadership to allow the construction of a beautiful ballpark and a public “park at the park” to revitalize our riverfront and serve as a catalyst” for downtown development in Pawtucket.

“We hope we can keep the PawSox in Pawtucket and we have offered unprecedented private funds to do so,” said Steinberg.

The team is seeking a new home to replace historic, but aging, McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket. While the state Senate’s leadership has been in favor of a public subsidy to help finance a new stadium, House Speaker Nick Mattiello has been noncommittal. Team officials say that a failure by Rhode Island’s overwhelmingly Democratic  lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo to come up with a viable stadium deal would force the team to look outside the Ocean State.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, the popular Republican, recently expressed support for Worcester’s attempt to lure the PawSox and said the state may help with money for infrastructure improvements.