Reaction comes in to PawSox stadium bill

By: Chloe Leshner

cleshner@abc6.com

@ChloeLeshner

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The General Assembly finally passed the new PawSox stadium deal late Friday night but it’s not a home run just yet. Now the question becomes whether or not the team will play ball.

PawSox ownership is not saying much about the new stadium deal. A spokesperson tells ABC 6 News they’re absolutely considering it but still need to take a much closer look at the revised version of the bill.

A plan to finance a brand new multi–million dollar ballpark for the PawSox has finally been passed by the General Assembly.

"It’s a great opportunity for the city of Pawtucket and I for one am believing in our city and I think this is the spark that can return us to our glory days of the past," says Senator Donna Nesselbush of Pawtucket.

The revised plan was drafted in the house.

The overall $83 million cost hasn’t changed and the team will still cover the majority of it, $45 million, but it makes borrowing money to build the stadium more expensive than the original senate plan.

"I am concerned about the increased expense and the bond markets will determine whether costs and the deal will work out," says Nesselbush.

This plan shifts the risk from the taxpayer to the investors and makes the interest rates higher for the state, city and team.

It’s structured to repay borrowing with revenue from the team and tax collections generated from an area surrounding the stadium.

The Mayor of Pawtucket, Don Grebien, says this has always been about the economic development of the city and that he "looks forward to keeping the team here for the next generation."

The PawSox releasing a non–committal statement after the vote saying in part, "we will continue to work with the city of Pawtucket to see if this new proposal is feasible, viable and permissible."

The Governor is expected to sign the bill once she has a chance to go through the revised version.

(C) WLNE/ABC 6 2018