PawSox encouraged by $83M Rhode Island stadium proposal

The Triple A minor league affiliate of the Boston Red Sox on Thursday said it was encouraged about the $83-million plans coming together in Rhode Island.

The Pawtucket Red Sox have engaged in long discussions with Worcester city and business officials about possibly putting a ballpark in Worcester — with the Wyman-Gordon site in the Canal District offered as a possibility — while the Rhode Island legislature has debated the merits of a new publicly funded stadium in Pawtucket.

“While we have not yet had a meaningful opportunity to review the language of the legislation and its latest proposal on naming rights, it is encouraging to see the outlines of a potential framework, as we consider the transformative opportunity that this ballpark and surrounding development project offers for downtown Pawtucket and all of Rhode Island,” the PawSox said in a prepared statement.

The team has never made a public statement about a possible Worcester stadium. Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus, who has lead Worcester’s talk with the team, could not be reached for comment Thursday,

Rhode Island Senate Finance Committee is scheduled on Tuesday to discuss and possibly vote on the Pawtucket deal, which would still require full Rhode Island legislative approval as well as Gov. Gina Raimondo’s signature. The proposal, according to the legislature’s website, would have the team putting up $45 million with the city and state contributing $15 million and $23 million, respectively, for a stadium at Slater Mill, an underdeveloped commercial property.

A revision to the Pawtucket deal in early December would require the team to put up the first $12 million in equity and to transfer half of the revenue from naming rights to the city, a projected $250,000 annually, according to the legislature.

If the project goes over $83 million, the team will foot those costs.

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.


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