RI house speaker: PawSox deal sucks, let’s negotiate a better one

Opposition to the Pawtucket Red Sox‘ $38 million stadium subsidy request is starting to snowball: First the chair of the state senate finance committee said he’d kill the bill if the PawSox owners didn’t provide more details on their team finances, and now House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says he wants the team to go back to the drawing board entirely, because his constituents hate stadium subsidies:

Mattiello, a Cranston Democrat, told The Providence Journal in a podcast posted Friday that he’s been knocking on doors in his district and the overwhelming majority of people are telling him “no public money” for the project. The cost of the $83 million deal lawmakers are considering shares the costs among the state, Pawtucket and the team, the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

“What I’m hearing right now is, the public is not necessarily buying in to the proposition of putting public money, or a large amount of public money, into this project. So I think it’s incumbent upon the governor and the Commerce Corp. to listen to what I’m saying,” he said, adding, “I think the governor and the PawSox and the Commerce Corp. should roll up their sleeves, renegotiate this thing.”

Mattiello wasn’t specific about how much more he’d like to see the PawSox owners put in (other than “perhaps a lot of the backstop should come from the PawSox and the owners of the PawSox and take the risk away from the taxpayers”), but clearly there is sentiment in the state legislature that the current deal kinda sucks — which, when the state could just buy the team for less than the public cost of a new stadium, it kinda does. Rattling the Worcester saber just doesn’t work the way it used to, I guess.

One comment on “RI house speaker: PawSox deal sucks, let’s negotiate a better one

  1. “perhaps a lot of the backstop should come from the PawSox.”

    That sounds fair, the Pawsox build the backstop and the public can take care of the rest.