Out In Left Field

A swing and a miss!

“The PawSox is an issue that’s just not ready, and it may never be ready to be addressed. I don’t know if the ballpark is going to happen or not.” House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello seems to be losing confidence in his ability to pull this off. (ProJo 9.3.15) A great deal of credit has to go to Sam Bell of the RI Progressive Democrats who mobilized volunteers for at least two days of canvassing in Mattiello’s district where they discovered widespread opposition to the plan. (Go here to view House District 15 in Cranston. We need a viable (breathing) candidate to run against Mattiello. Perhaps you know someone living there who needs a nudge.)

According to the Providence Journal one of the latest hurdles is that Brown University expects to get paid for what it knows is prime real estate along the riverfront — $15 million to be exact. Their parcel was purchased in 2011 and includes this recently-improved facility. WPRI reports tonight that Brown’s executive vice-president for planning and policy Russell Carey has rejected the PawSox offer.

Carey said an offer made by the PawSox for a long-term lease of the Dyer Street site “equates to approximately one-fourth of the $15 million value we indicated would be required for Brown to relinquish control,” which indicates the team offered Brown roughly $3.75 million.

Add to this the demand from the Federal Highway Administration that they be paid fair market value for the 195 parkland if it is to used commercially. And that the City of Providence is looking for sizable economic incentives. And you have enough hurdles for a track meet. Oh, except Brown has also made it clear it would not be interested in holding its track meets in this stadium.

Remember the warning sports economist Professor Victor Matheson gave concerning projections from promoters? Always move the decimal over one place. Here is what Carey had to say about the PawSox projections.

“Further, the assumptions made in the draft term sheet about potential revenue and expenses of Brown football games are very far from current realities,” Carey said. He said the PawSox estimated Brown could generate an average of $145,000 in ticket sales for a home football game, but currently the school only generates $25,000.

“Current realities.” Nice to see some reality-based decision-making at long last.

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