PawSox Claim Potential New Stadium Must Be Pushed Back to 2021 at Earliest
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
The PawSox did reaffirm the team's desire to keep the team in Pawtucket, but it has been looking at options such as Worcester too. A poll conducted in October conducted by John Della Volpe of Harvard for GoLocal found that the funding scheme had little public support -- see the poll below.
PAWSOX STATEMENT REGARDING THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE’S REPORT
We respect the diligent work that the Senate Finance Committee has performed for the last several months. It conducted exhaustive and thorough hearings throughout Rhode Island which revealed overwhelming support for the pending legislation and for keeping the PawSox in Pawtucket. Members, staff, and the Auditor General on their behalf have also scrutinized our financial documents and situation and have come away with a recognition that we had nothing to hide from them.
It will take some time to digest the proposed revisions they have introduced. It is our hope that all partners and stakeholders understand the delicate balance achieved in the original agreement that followed months of negotiation in 2017 among the City of Pawtucket, the State of Rhode Island, and the Pawtucket Red Sox.
One consequence of this action, and of the process of both chambers of the state legislature in 2017 (as well as the negotiations themselves), is that Pawtucket’s new ballpark can now no longer be ready by April 2020, which was a stated, important, and collective objective.
We have lost that year, but we have not lost 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 of a resurgent Downtown Pawtucket for the Gateway City of the Ocean State.
When the state seeks to initiate further discussions with us, these new suggestions and revisions will receive our prompt attention, but at first blush, some of these suggestions give us concern.
We respect the committee’s role in seeking to ensure that the proposed financing plan protects the state, which it does, and the city, which it also does.
The state’s annual investment is exceeded by the annual tax revenue it receives, and the city’s investment gives it ownership of land, ownership of an innovative ballpark with year-round uses, and ownership of a new city park, all of which will spur additional new development, activity, and taxes for the city.
The PawSox, with the overwhelming majority contribution of $45 million, the commitment of 30 years, and the responsibility of ballpark construction cost overruns, are taking the most significant and likely risks to ensure that this once-in-a-generation project comes to fruition for Rhode Island.
We hope we can keep the PawSox in Pawtucket, and we have offered unprecedented private funds to do so. We hope we can be an integral part of a transformative Pawtucket Downtown and Riverfront Revitalization project. We recognize and respect that the decisions of whether to preserve this Rhode Island institution and to proceed with that revitalization project are in the hands of Rhode Island’s elected officials.
Related Slideshow: GoLocal: Benchmark Poll, October 2017
Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices. How likely is it that you will vote in this election?
Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...
Definitely be voting: 78%
Probably be voting: 13%
What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?
Jobs and economy: 21%
State budget: 9%
Corruption/Public integrity: .8%
Don’t know: .9%
Recently, a proposal has been made to permit the issuance of $81 million in bonds by the State to build a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox. If there was an election today on this issue, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $81 million in financing supported moral obligation bonds to build the stadium?
Net: Approve: 28%
Definitely approve: 15%
Probably approve: 14%
Net: Reject: 67%
Probably reject: 19%
Definitely reject: 48%
Don't know: 4%
The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS. Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).
$50,000 or less: 27%
More $50,000 but less than $75,000: 13%
More $75,000 but less than $100,000: 13%
More $100,000 but less than $150,000: 17%
$150,000 or more: 13%
Don't know/refused: 17%
What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?
Black or African American: 6%
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