Oh, and we’re gonna need part of Peck Street — just change that ‘Financial District’ to ‘Minimum Wage Hollow.’
Well not so fast says Councilman Samuel D. Zurier (Democrat from the East Side) in “City can toss out PawSox owners” (ProJo 4.30.15). As if further proof of the owners’ arrogance was needed, these guys have yet to meet with the Providence City Council. But Zurier makes it pretty clear the team has some significant hurdles to clear with the city.
The I-195 development district law requires developers to pay full city taxes unless they reach a separate agreement with the city, but I wonder whether the proposal’s complicated sale/lease/sublease framework tries to circumvent this requirement — perhaps a real estate version of the hidden ball trick.
Regardless of whether such a loophole exists in the law, the city has other ways to block the stadium deal. Zoning laws do not permit a stadium at the proposed location. Similarly, Peck Street runs through a portion of the parcel, and only the City Council can authorize the abandonment of a city street.
Most heartening is Zurier’s comfort level with the team leaving the state altogether — something I hear all the time. (For future negotiating purposes Mr. Zurier, here’s the number I am comfortable with: Zero Dollars.)
At the beginning of this full-court press, the Governor stated that her top priority was “keeping the PawSox in Rhode Island.” Really? Shouldn’t the Governor’s first priority be promoting a healthy economy that benefits everyone, not just a handful of millionaires?
Yes, Rhode Islanders may like the PawSox, but they love McCoy! Let these dreadful people move the PawSox to Massachusetts — we can find some other team for Pawtucket. Says Zurier,
. . . just as this team can leave the state if its owners think our offer is too low, so could we attract another one if this one’s price is too high.
A warm summer night watching the Wingnuts . . . the Canaries . . . or the Lemurs play ball? For $8? Sounds like heaven.