After 3 years of working with the PawSox and a year of legislative hearings, the House of Representatives and the Senate overwhelmingly approved the enabling legislation for the Ballpark at Slater Mill.
Since day one, this has been about the economic development of Pawtucket, the opportunity to revitalize our downtown, and keeping our iconic Pawtucket Red Sox here in Rhode Island. I applaud the Senate and the House for holding numerous public hearings, allowing public input, expert testimony, and ultimately approving this project. We will make the residents of Pawtucket and the people of Rhode Island proud.
Thanks to the leadership of the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency, Pawtucket is already in the process with Sterling Development Group planning for the revitalization of the riverfront and downtown that will be spurred by this public park. This project would not have been possible without the support of the Pawtucket community and the Blackstone Valley from the Council, to my fellow mayors, residents, businesses, the Pawtucket 2020, our youth, labor and organizations across the state.
The Senate’s version, passed in January, was revised by the House and structured to repay borrowing for the construction of the ballpark with revenue from the team and tax collections generated from an area surrounding the stadium. The framework still keeps in place the team’s commitment to $12 million toward the project upfront and $45 million overall.
Now that the city and the team have the enabling legislation in-hand, we can continue our discussions regarding the proposal and get to work on the bonding structure, planning and development right away. The Team has been willing partners with us every step of the way. Their commitment to Pawtucket and their fans has kept them here for over 40 years and we look forward to keeping them here for the next generation.
Let’s play ball!
Donald Grebien is mayor of the City of Pawtucket, R.I.