Speaker says new PawSox stadium pitch has no taxpayer money
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said he has a framework for a new Pawtucket PawSox stadium that will not risk any taxpayer money, instead devoting tax revenue the park directly generates back into the deal.
Mattiello said Tuesday after a caucus with his Democratic colleagues that Rhode Island taxpayers would not be responsible for any debt associated with the project.
“My goal has always been to reduce or eliminate the risk to the Rhode Island taxpayer, and we’ve accomplished that deal with this framework,” he said, cautioning that the plan was still subject to the hearing process and negotiations with other lawmakers.
The PawSox are the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox and are looking for a new stadium. The city of Worcester, Massachusetts, has been courting the team.
The Senate approved a deal in January that would have contributed $23 million in state money to the $83-million ballpark. Mattiello had pronounced that deal dead.
The new framework would set up an account that would receive property, income and sales taxes generated by the park. He estimated that would amount to a few million dollars per year.
If revenues don’t match expectations, he said taxpayers wouldn’t be left to foot the bill.
The speaker said the plan should be available in the form of a bill soon.
“If we can keep the PawSox with zero risk to the taxpayer,” he said, “I think that’s a successful outcome.”