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Rhode Islands Holds Latest PawSox Ballpark Hearing

Pawsox Ballpark at Slater Mill renderingRhode Island senate committee has held its latest hearing on a proposed Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League) ballpark, with the financials of the plan prompting discussion. 

Tuesday marked the second in a series of hearings by the Rhode Island Senate Finance Committee, which held its first meeting on the ballpark plan earlier this month. The committee is considering the details behind a proposal for the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency to issue $71 million in bonds. The project is estimated at $83 million, and calls for the PawSox to contribute $45 million ($12 million upfront, the rest paybacks on money borrowed by the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency), Rhode Island to pay $23 million (with Pawtucket committed to paying the money back), and the city to allocate $15 million.

Additional hearings, including one on October 3, are planned for the coming weeks, but Tuesday provided another chance for officials to discuss the plan. With Pawtucket mayor Donald Grebien among those in attendance, some focus was paid as to how Pawtucket would cover its costs in the project. More from The Telegram:

Senator Walter S. Felag Jr.’s questions drew praise from some speakers.

He said one thing that troubled him from the last hearing was regarding the city’s ability to cover costs: “I think we need to get deeper into that whole process,” he said.

Further, he asked who will maintain the facility and whether road repairs or new highway ramps will be needed.

Grebien said no new highway exits or entrances will be built and other answers will be forthcoming.

If constructed, the ballpark would be located at the site of an Apex department store. The PawSox would use the facility to replace McCoy Stadium, where their lease is set to expire after the 2020 season. Pawtucket is not the only city to be linked to the PawSox, as Worcester, MA has had discussions with the team.

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