Let PawSox build their own stadium

Let PawSox build their own stadium

I am the Pawtucket, House Dist. 60, state representative. I fully support the proposition – we want to keep the PawSox in Pawtucket. I signed on to House Resolution H7290 which mirrors S2001, to keep the discussion ongoing in my House of Representatives.

However, I do not support the funding formula which Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello mercifully put out of its misery and declared dead.

Why not? It’s applesauce!

Let’s cut through the proponents’ hurrahs, huzzahs, argle bargle, balderdash, and gobbledy gook.

Here’s one good reason – Moral Obligation Bonds. Proponents claim the stadium construction project will cost $97 million. The PawSox will invest $12 million up front. City of Pawtucket, PawSox and State of R.I. bonds will fund the remainder. State taxpayers are to be morally obligated on all the bonds that fund the project. And, that’s $85 million. In other words state taxpayers are on the hook for 87.6 percent of the $97 million initial cost of the stadium construction project.

Don’t believe it?

For months proponents told us that if the PawSox default on bond debt, the International League will step in and pay off the Pawsox bond. Balderdash!

International League President Randy Mobley, the new king of Flash Dance, recently refused to say clearly and unequivocally that if the PawSox default, the league will underwrite the bond and make the required payments. Instead Randy dances and says that if there’s a default, the league will revoke the franchise, bring in new management, sell the franchise, etc.


Management will be punished and out of a job.

Who ultimately must pay back the PawSox debt default?

Answer: R.I. taxpayers.

And, while we’re at it, who ultimately must pay back the bond holders if the city of Pawtucket defaults?

Answer: R.I. taxpayers.

Don’t believe it?

Take a good, hard look at Senate Resolution S2001 page 6 lines 11 through 19 which tell us the governor shall include in the proposed state budget for each year the annual debt service due on all bonds. Once you’ve read these lines, mercifully disabuse yourself of the notion that the bonds are not moral obligation bonds.

They most certainly are moral obligation bonds!

In closing, my position is simple and straightforward. The PawSox are first and foremost a “for profit business.” Like any other American business, let the PawSox pony up the dollars to build their stadium and take the business risks.

Let the Pawsox own it, maintain it, repair it, pay taxes on it, reap their profit or suffer their loss.

And, best of all, let the PawSox succeed or fail without putting a grab on our precious tax dollars in the process.

David A. Coughlin


Coughlin is representative of House District 60, Pawtucket.