The owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League) are presenting an alternate financial plan for a new Providence ballpark today, with an offer to buy land from the state.
The shift comes as the team prepares for specific negotiations with the state over the waterfront site. The team has proposed leasing the land for $1 a year, but now there’s the more likely chance the PawSox will buy the land for a fair-market price, reports the Providence Journal:
When [principal owner James J.] Skeffington unveiled the minor-league team’s architectural plans on April 15 and outlined the state support the team wants for an $85-million stadium project, he said the PawSox hoped to pay $1 a year to lease about 6 acres of state land. That land was freed up by the state relocation of Route 195 and is owned by the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission. The team hoped to lease more land from Brown University for the same price.
Team owners and consultants will meet Monday with the 195 commission. On Friday, Skeffington said the team had not altered its initial request for state support, in an interview with The Providence Journal.
“No deal’s been made,” he said. “No negotiations have been undertaken. This is the beginning of a conversation, and we’ll know as events unfold whether or not this is something the executive and the legal branch approves of.”
After that came the changes to the proposed plan, with the offer to buy rather than lease land.
The team is pitching the new ballpark as a economic-development tool and asking the state for a $4 million annual subsidy and a waiver of real-estate taxes. In exchange, the PawSox owners will finance the ballpark. Currently discussions are between team owners and the state, with the city on the sidelines — a situation that has some city officials fuming.
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