First PawSox stadium hearing is Thursday

First PawSox stadium hearing is Thursday

PAWTUCKET – The first in a series of statewide hearings on a proposal to build a new minor league baseball stadium in downtown Pawtucket will be held this Thursday, Sept. 14, at 6 p.m. at the Rhode Island Statehouse.

Mayor Donald Grebien is urging residents to come out and support the proposal, which would see the Pawtucket Red Sox invest $45 million, the largest ever private investment in Pawtucket, the city invest some $15 million and the state another $23 million. The state and local funds would be paid back from revenues generated by the park, according to officials.

The new ballpark would feature development around the stadium, such as shops, restaurants, a hotel, and more, “spurring growth in our downtown for years to come,” said Grebien in a notice on the hearing.

“We are thankful to the Senate Finance Committee, under the leadership of Pawtucket Sen. William Conley, for holding hearings on the ballpark proposal over the next month,” he said. “The Pawtucket Red Sox belong in Pawtucket, and we cannot afford to miss this once-in-a lifetime opportunity for a pubic park, development, and year-round entertainment at no additional cost to taxpayers.”

The PawSox have indicated that they’ll look elsewhere to build a stadium if they can’t reach a deal with Rhode Island lawmakers.

The Pawtucket City Council last week postponed voting on Councilor Albert Vitali Jr.’s resolution supporting construction of a new stadium after Vitali requested it be delayed until after the planned hearings, which run through Oct. 19. Vitali said he proposed the resolution to “spur the conversation and show much support for the stadium being built in our downtown” back when he felt there wasn’t enough being done to consider the proposal. He made the motion to postpone the vote until everyone has a better understanding of how the financing for the stadium is going to go.

Those wishing to testify will have a second chance to do so during a planned hearing in Pawtucket on Tuesday, Sept. 26, at 6 p.m. at Tolman High School.

To submit comments on the proposal, visit pawsoxhearings.com/contact .