Two economists take differing views of the PawSox’ proposal to build a stadium in downtown Providence. One says the plan would bring strong potential for economic development. But as Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison reports, another economist says the public investment isn’t worth it.
Victor Matheson studies the economics of sports and gaming at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester. He takes a skeptical view of the PawSox proposal to spend some $85 million on a baseball park on the Providence waterfront.
The Paw Sox play their home opener against Rochester Thursday evening at McCoy Stadium. With new owners planning to move the team, Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien says it’s a bittersweet start to the season.
“We’re encouraging everybody to go to the games, let people know how much you care about the organization,” said Grebien. “But when they’re there don’t be afraid to comment, or write a letter, or put in the comment cards how disappointed you are that they aren’t staying in Pawtucket.”
Grebien says there was no communication about opening day events.
The Rhode Island Foundation has announced the winners for this year’s innovation fellowships. The program is aimed at sparking new ideas for the state. The award comes with a $300,000 grant.
This year’s two winners include John Haley, a scientist specializing in marine fisheries. He’s working on a product to improve mussel aquaculture. It’s a kind of cord that’s “pre-loaded” with mussel larvae to speed up the cultivation time for mussel farmers.
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 waiting is almost over for details on the Providence ballpark envisioned by the new ownership of the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Boston Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino was initially slated to join PawSox president James Skeffington for an unveiling of the team's ask Wednesday at 2 pm at the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. Lucchino will instead be at Fenway Park for a 1 pm Red Sox game set to include an observation of the two-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing.