Bad for the state/bad for the city. When it first became clear that the PawSox were moving I hoped they would relocate to Providence, just not to the site the new owners had selected. But now I want these grasping boors as far away from the state coffers as possible. Owner James Skeffington just spoke to Channel 12 from McCoy saying that four other cities have expressed interest in the team — to which I’m tempted to say “Go PawSox. Go.”
The owners’ numbers are now in and they don’t even pass the laugh test. More than one online commenter is referring to this project as “38 Stadium.” The state — already laboring under an enormous structural deficit — is being asked to throw in $4 million a year for 30 years. The city of Providence is expected to waive all property taxes for 30 years. (Skeffington pulled a number out of the air regarding how much the state can expect to recoup from peanut vendors paying income taxes, etc. Those projections are meaningless.) So we can look forward to the PawSox decamping to a new stadium in 2046 while Providence is left with a crumbling hulk, investigating how on earth there hadn’t been proper oversight during construction, etc.
Skeffington is already playing fast and lose with the numbers. According to the report in today’s Providence Journal Skeffington told reporters the team would pay “$5 million to relocate Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC) and National Grid utilities . . .”
And yet the Journal reported on these costs just four days ago — “Utilities pose costly obstacle to building PawSox Stadium.” The NBC then estimated its costs at around $7 million, while National Grid spokesman David Graves didn’t yet have a figure for moving a 16-inch steel gas pipe.
Graves said it’s too soon to know how much it would cost to move the gas main. “Every job is different,” he said. “Any … time you go underground, the costs escalate because there is always the uncertainty — you don’t know what you’re going to find underground until you go underground.
“There could be ledge in the way, environmental issues in the way. To put a price tag on it now would be purely speculative.”
And as to the look of the proposed stadium? That kitschy lighthouse should tell you all you need to know about the crass aesthetic inclinations of the new ownership group.