Baloney in search of the bread


“The new owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox expect to build a Providence Stadium with their own funds.”
— Providence Journal 2/25/15; Kate Bramson, reporter

“They plan to build the stadium with their own money.”
— Providence Journal 2/26/15; Kate Bramson, reporter

"The Stadium would be privately financed.”
— Providence Journal 3/2/15; quoting James Skeffington, one of the owners

"The team says it will pay $70 million to build the stadium.”
— Providence Journal 4/25/15; Kate Bramson, reporter

What’s changed since May 2015 as far as financing is concerned? At least that is the question being asked by Henry Kinch, Jr. former Pawtucket City Councilor, Council President, and former mayoral candidate who provided the above news stories.
It’s a good question. The conduct of Lucchino and the other owners has been disingenuous. Not only have they eschewed paying for their own stadium, they are also conning the public with such sentiments as "Pawtucket is our home.” Mr. Kinch properly observes that they were willing to kick Pawtucket to the curb in their mad scramble to locate the Paw Sox stadium in Providence. After being rebuffed, they are now professing love for the club’s former mistress, i.e. Pawtucket.

Now there is a Paw Sox push to make the stadium public, yet Mr. Lucchino et al are calling all the shots on location, design and even ticket prices. Of course, they don’t really have to care about such things as costs since the state is being courted as their patsy to take away the risk of the investment. Calling it “public” allows the invocation of “eminent domain” in order to expel the present owners from their property and shifts profitability risk to the state coffers.

The baloney being passed around in search of the “bread” is laughable. They hired the same firm for a “feasibility” study to explore the financial impact of a proposed new stadium on the city’s downtown. These were the same hired guns who massaged the numbers in 2015 to paint a rosy picture for its move to Providence.

One aspect of the entire proposal this time around is the lust that Lucchino et al has for the property surrounding Apex. He wants to be a Bob Kraft and create a mini Patriot Place. Unlike Mr. Kraft, however, he doesn’t want to put his money into the enterprise — he only wants to use yours.

His silence is deafening as to what will become of the present stadium. No doubt it will have a fence thrown up around it and become an eyesore as well as vandalized as soon as it is stripped of the Paw Sox logo. One investigation that needs to be done is to ascertain whether the city or the team owners were negligent in maintaining the stadium after millions of dollars were poured into renovations. There are other major league teams using sports facilities which have been around a longer time, including Fenway Park.

Unless the Red Sox and the team owners put all their private funds into building a new stadium, then McCoy should be refurbished with the allocation of payment for that facelift based on whom had the upkeep responsibility by virtue of the present lease.

Arlene Violet is an attorney and former Rhode Island Attorney General.

Arlene Violet


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