Providence Sports Stadium? We Can’t Afford It

Just slow the f*#k down everybody!!! This is a big decision and requires some calm reflection.

The new PawSox owners have announced that they will be moving the team out of Pawtucket and are eying the newly opened up I-195 land on Dyer Street, right on the river, for a new stadium and, of course, acres and acres of parking lots. This is not just sad for Pawtucket but a terrible idea for Providence, and I would like to see our elected officials giving this some thought, and asking the right questions, instead of just going along rah-rah-rah with these profit-seeking boosters. (What they really want to boost is your wallet.)

What we do know is that the ownership group already has both hands out. According to Channel 12, “. . . they want to build a ballpark in downtown Providence with their own money, but they will ask state and city lawmakers to help ‘bring about this dream.'” They expect the state will “give up part of the land it owns at no cost.” That last bit will require some help from the state legislature — they have hired a former legislator as a lobbyist — and house and senate leadership seems unquestioning in its enthusiasm.

Most importantly, taxpayer supported stadiums have become notorious boondoggles — the only beneficiaries can be found in the sky boxes.

See: The Wall Street Journal, Publicly funded sports arenas add little to local economy.

Also: The Atlantic, If you build it, they might not come: The risky economics of sports stadiums

Mayor Elorza told Channel 12, “Anything that can be done to make this happen will be done . . .” City Council President Luis Aponte sounds a bit more circumspect.

For his part, Aponte said he wants to make sure the “economics make sense,” but he wants to keep the PawSox in Rhode Island. Aponte said he and Elorza were told the team will seek “flexibility and support” from the city.

“It’s one of those rare times where we can all be on the same side,” Aponte said, referring to the support of state and city lawmakers.

Most importantly . . . McCoy is such a wondrous place. (More at ProJo.)

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