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PawSox stadium deal is 'dead,' says Rhode Island House speaker as team continues to eye move to Worcester
A plan to build a new $82 million stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox in Rhode Island may have won approval from the Rhode ... at least 50,000 square feet of ancillary retail and mixed-use real estate by the time the stadium opens. MassLive reporter Dan ...
Gallery: Could the Canal District in Worcester be the next home of the PawSox?
By Noah RBombard
A plan to build a new $82 million stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox in Rhode Island may have won approval from the Rhode Island Senate, but House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says the deal is "dead."
The speaker's comments, made to Fox Providence's Dan Yorke, come just as the team plans to pitch the stadium deal during a community night in Mattiello's district on TuesdayThe team is also concurrently eyeing a move to Worcester.
"The Senate bill is dead in the state of the Rhode IslandTwo-thirds of Rhode Islanders do not support it and therefore, the House will not support it," Mattiello said on the program "Dan Yorke State of Mind."
Mattiello said he's spoken to his constituents who were decidedly cool on the idea of publicly financing the stadium.
Under the current House bill, taxpayers would foot about $38 million of the $83 million deal that would replace McCoy stadium with a new stadium in downtown Pawtucket.
Meanwhile, the PawSox continue to press for support for the new stadium, organizing an informational night in the speaker's districtTeam spokesman Guy Dufault told the Providence Journal, "The speaker asked us to educate his district so we did a mailer and a flyer drop.'
The Journal reports Dufault said about 48 people responded to the flyer and that they were then invited to Tuesday's meeting along with about 150 Cranston PawSox season-ticket holders.
Any failure of the Rhode Island legislature to pass a stadium deal could be good news for supporters of the team moving to Worcester, where the team's brass has been seen repeatedly in the past year, negotiating with Worcester city officials.
Worcester's bid, which is rumored to involve the vacant Wyman Gordon plot near Kelley Square, has been bolstered by public shows of support from local residents -- including a campaign by the Canal District Alliance to send thousands of postcards to the team, supporting a relocation to Worcester.
Team officials have been spotted meeting multiple times with Worcester officials, who have kept mum about the status of the negotiations.
If Rhode Island lawmakers pass the proposal, the team, state and city of Pawtucket would be responsible for $23 million, $15 million and $12 million in debt respectively, with the PawSox also contributing $12 million in construction costs to the projectThe proposal also includes a commitment by the team to develop at least 50,000 square feet of ancillary retail and mixed-use real estate by the time the stadium opens.
MassLive reporter Dan Glaun contributed to this story.
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