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Rhode Island Gov. Does Not Intend to Submit PawSox Ballpark Legislation

Pawsox Ballpark at Slater Mill rendering

As legislation is developed for a new Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League) ballpark, Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo says that she herself will not submit the bill. 

With a proposed funding model on the table that includes team, city, and state contributions, officials are in the process of crafting a plan that will be put up for the consideration of state legislatures. While the released funding model did offer some specifics–including outlined contributions from the PawSox ($45 million), Rhode Island ($23M), and the city ($15M)–legislation on the plan has not officially been submitted.

On Monday, Raimondo confirmed that city officials are drafting legislation. However, she said that she has not seen the proposal first hand, and has no intentions of submitting it herself.

Rhode Island house speaker Nicholas Mattiello has previously stated his preference that Raimondo submit the proposal on her own, but the governor claims that her decision to not personally submit the legislation does not necessarily mean that it will be dead on arrival. More from The Providence Journal:

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has insisted he’ll only consider the proposal if the governor brings it to him. Pressed Monday whether that means any bill would be dead on arrival, Raimondo replied, “He’s got to look at it and evaluate it on its merits, and if he comes to the conclusion it’s a good thing to do, I guess they’ll go for it.”

Although she spoke encouragingly, she also distanced herself: “This is a top economic-development priority of the mayor of Pawtucket, and I support him in doing that, and I do think it’s a good deal for the taxpayers, from what I can tell … It’s not a top priority of my administration. I’ve submitted other legislation.”

Not including interest and principal, the project’s total cost is expected to be about $83 million when factoring in the the land acquisition cost that will be assumed by the city. If the proposal moves forward, the PawSox would sign a 30-year lease for a new ballpark that is to be constructed on the site of an Apex department store. Team officials and elected leaders have expressed their desire to see the ballpark spark additional development in the surrounding area.

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