Rhode Island City Fights for $83M Stadium Approval

In July, Worcester residents mailed close to 10,000 postcards to the team in an effort to transfer the team’s ownership to their city.

📅   Fri August 18, 2017 - Northeast Edition
Emily Buenzle


In an effort to prevent the Pawtucket Red Sox from being lured to another town, Mayor Donald Grebien of Pawtucket, R.I., has urged the state's lawmakers to pass a bill allowing for construction of a new $83 million stadium for the team.
In an effort to prevent the Pawtucket Red Sox from being lured to another town, Mayor Donald Grebien of Pawtucket, R.I., has urged the state's lawmakers to pass a bill allowing for construction of a new $83 million stadium for the team.

In an effort to prevent the Pawtucket Red Sox from being lured to another town, Mayor Donald Grebien of Pawtucket, R.I., has urged the state's lawmakers to pass a bill allowing for construction of a new $83 million stadium for the team.

Grebien's appeal follows an 8-1 vote from the Worcester City Council Aug. 15, which has allowed the city's manager to push forward in negotiations with the PawSox, WPRI reported. In July, Worcester residents mailed close to 10,000 postcards to the team in an effort to transfer the team's ownership to their city.

According to Grebien, he sees why Worcester is trying to get the team for their own, saying that a minor league club provides economic and other perks. “In fairness, they're doing what any community should be doing,” he said.

Who Will Pay?

The stadium construction bill, introduced earlier in the summer, proposes a funding breakdown for the $83 million stadium, where:

• The team will pay for $45 million, $33 million of which to be paid via a 30-year lease agreement

• State taxes will account for $23 million, and

• $15 million will be contributed by the city of Pawtucket, to be paid back with a combination of tax revenue from the park and a surcharge from ticket sales.

The amount of money that taxpayers would have to contribute for the project is much less than what Grebien said he's seen anywhere else, WPRI reported. “I don't think Worcester is going to be able to match that,” Grebien said, “but we can't take that for granted, and I need to General Assembly to do the right thing in September.”

Although lawmakers will be back for a special session Sept. 19, the PawSox deal will not be part of the conversation at that time, said spokesperson Greg Pare. Later in the fall, the Senate Finance Committee will have multiple hearings on the bill, WPRI reported.