PawSox stadium deal opponents celebrate victory

By: Melissa Randall
mrandall@abc6.com 
@MRandallABC6

Opponents to the PawSox I–195 stadium deal are celebrating after the team’s ownership struck out in their month’s long attempt at getting the land.

“They said the fix was in. They said it would be impossible. They said they’d never do it, but we did,” said Samuel Bell, Chairman of ‘Stop the Stadium Deal.’ 

The group’s committee members delivered a petition with more than 1,500 voter signatures to the Providence City Council Monday. They are attempting to quash any further attempts at putting a sports stadium on the Providence river front land, or attempts to support a stadium with public funds. 

“We are here to say we will continue to fight the good fight and to be on the right side of history,” said Sharon Steele of STSD. 

PawSox spokeswoman Patti Doyle says the owners are extremely disappointed that the location didn’t pan out, but the organization remains committed to leaving Pawtucket. She added that the team’s decision to call it quits was largely made for them.

“It’s a terrific site. It would have been such an amenity for the city and the state,” said Doyle. 

The Governor determined the site was unsuitable.

“This particular parcel of land had a series of challenges that we weren’t going to get through and it was time to move on,” said Gov. Gina Raimondo, (D) Rhode Island.

At this point the Triple-A baseball team hasn’t ruled out leaving the state.

“It really is a big question mark,” said Doyle.

However, the owners will consider alternate locations in Rhode Island. That line–up could potentially include Victory Place in Davol Square, which they previously toured.

“There was a lot to like about it, but we’ve since learned its been sold,” explained Doyle. 

That parcel of land was purchased by Rhode Island Hospital earlier this month. Lifespan spokeswoman Jane Bruno tells ABC6 there are no active talks going on with the PawSox, and there are no immediate plans for the site. 

© WLNE-TV 2015