Did they think that we could be bought off with a trip to Durham, North Carolina? Come on sizzle it a little, throw in a layover in Moosic, Pennsylvania and then maybe we’ll talk.
Mr. Lucchino et al. have yet to figure out that opponents to the stadium are not basing their stance on anecdotal evidence. We discovered months ago that there are experts in the field, sports economists like Victor Matheson, who have been studying this topic for years. They crunch numbers and analyze data and have come to the near universal conclusion that these stadiums only make money for the millionaire owners. And one free trip, to one stadium, is not going to change our minds. Intelligent taxpayers are not going hand over millions of dollars based on anecdotal evidence.
The latest ploy from the PawSox brain trust is to offer an all-expenses paid visit to the stadium in Durham in the hopes that certain pivotal people can be brought around. (Keep in mind, you would have to spend this time hanging out with Larry Lucchino and his hideous band of paid boosters.) (ProJo 7.28.15)
The Pawtucket Red Sox have invited business, government, media and real-estate developers to travel with managing partner Larry Lucchino to Durham, North Carolina, on Aug. 5, to meet elected and business leaders there, including the owner of the Durham Bulls Triple-A baseball team, and to attend a Durham Bulls game.
Which brings me to the estimable Sharon Steele, a vocal and compelling opponent to the stadium — she is a force to be reckoned with and has apparently been noticed. Steele spoke to the overflow crowd at the Rochambeau meeting on Monday night and I love having her on our side. Amazingly, the PawSox ownership sent her an invitation to the Durham trip, to which she said “Absolutely not.” From the ProJo 7.30.15 — and thanks Kate Bramson;
“It is exactly what’s wrong with politics in Providence,” said Steele, a real estate broker and consultant and active member of the Jewelry District Association, a neighborhood group opposed to a stadium built with taxpayer money on land set aside years ago to become a public park. “It’s pay to play. It’s quid pro quo. It is their attempt to buy our support.”
And how comparable are the two cities anyway? Thom Mitchell, a commenter at No New Stadium, provided this perspective.
They keep comparing Pawtucket to Durham but the closest major league baseball franchise to Durham is the Washington Nationals – over 250 miles away. Closest MLB franchise to the Pawsox is Boston – just 45 miles away. Simply no comparison – Durham is literally the only game within 4 hours of driving.
Good work Mr. Mitchell.
(Left to right in picture: Sam Bell, Sharon Steele speaking, and our very own Zelig, Steve Ahlquist.)