January 16, 2018

R.I. Senate approves $83M PawSox stadium

Grant Welker
A new Pawtucket Red Sox stadium could be built at the Apex store site between I-95 and the Slater Mill.

As the team remains mum on any potential deal in Worcester, the Rhode Island Senate on Tuesday approved an $83-million stadium deal for the Pawtucket Red Sox, which would have the city and state putting up a respective $15 million and $23 million.

The 26-to-9 vote comes after the Senate Finance Committee voted to approve the legislation after spending nearly 30 hours of the committee's time working on the bill.

The approval comes after lengthy meetings between Worcester and PawSox officials about a possible new stadium in the Canal District. The team, however, has not said anything public about a possible Worcester deal.

Per the Rhode Island proposal, the team would put up $45 million, including the first $12 million in equity spent on the new ballpark proposed to be built at the site of the Apex Cos. retail store. The new ballpark will replace the aging McCoy Stadium, the team's home of nearly 40 years.

Rhode Island Sen. William Conley, a Democrat and chair of the Senate Finance Committee, said the team's investment per the proposal represents 54 percent of the total project costs.

"That's far and away the most invested by a ballclub anywhere in the nation for a publicly owned stadium," he said in an attempt to quell concerns the state was contributing too much money.

Worcester officials declined comment after the Senate's vote.

In a statement, the PawSox said the team is pleased the legislation was passed.

"To steal a phrase from a famous and successful New England football coach…the Senate, 'Did their job,' and we thank them for it," the PawSox said.

The team did not comment on the status of talks with Worcester officials.

The proposed legislation -- which must also pass the House and gain Rhode island Gov. Gina Raimondo's signature -- requires the team to pick up any project overruns.

If the construction comes in at less than $83 million, savings will be distributed at a pro-rata basis to the team, state and city at rates of 46.5 percent, 32.4 percent and 21.1 percent, respectively.

The proposal requires the construction of 50,000-square-feet of ancillary real estate and a $275 penalty for each day the ballpark is open without substantial completion on the ancillary space.

Read more

R.I. House FinCom passes PawSox bill

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