Governor signs legislation allowing public financing of PawSox stadium

Governor signs legislation allowing public financing of PawSox stadium

PROVIDENCE — Gov. Gina Raimondo has signed enabling legislation allowing public support for a new baseball stadium in downtown Pawtucket. The Ballpark at Slater Mill would be the future home of the Pawtucket Red Sox.

The legislation allows the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency to enter into lease and financing agreements in connection with a ballpark.

The construction would be financed by combined contributions from the Pawtucket Red Sox Baseball Club as well as bonds to be issued by the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency.

As the deal now stands, the $83 million project would be funded by all three partners (the PawSox, the city of Pawtucket and the State of Rhode Island) and a team equity contribution. The team would cover the majority of the costs, contributing $12 million in equity and principal debt of $33 million. The state and city would provide the difference from special revenue bonds. Revenues generated from the team and related development are projected to cover all costs associated with the project.

Under the provisions of the legislation, the state would contribute state economic activity taxes – existing tax revenues realized from activities at McCoy Stadium and tax revenue in the Ballpark District of the Downtown Pawtucket Redevelopment Area — to support bonds issued by the agency.

Pawtucket would contribute city Tax Increment Revenues – incremental real estate property taxes, special assessments on real property and betterment fees generated in and around the Downtown Pawtucket Redevelopment Area – and city economic activity taxes – in order to support bonds of the agency.

As part of the project, the city is developing a plan that includes public uses of the ballpark and a mixed use real estate development in an adjacent area which may include retail, entertainment, restaurant, public park, civic space, hotel, office space and residential components as part of a larger redevelopment of downtown Pawtucket.

Under the agreement, the ballpark, which will operate and be utilized as a public park and will create public recreational, social, and communal benefits, would be owned by the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency and leased to the ball club.

Also, advance ticket prices for children, senior citizens, and general admission would not increase from the cost of those tickets in the 2017 regular and post-season for a minimum period of five years from the opening of the park.