Documents: PawSox made revised stadium proposal earlier this summer; terms still not public

The Pawtucket Red Sox made a revised proposal for a stadium in Providence earlier this summer after its April proposal for $120 million in state subsidies fell flat, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press through a records request. State officials say negotiations continue, but two months after the team's ownership group presented a revised term sheet for the stadium plan, no details have been released.

City Councilman Seth Yurdin, a stadium opponent who represents downtown Providence, said that if there are terms being seriously considered, the public should know about them.

"There is a real concern that as this stadium proposal lingers, you're starting to put the brakes on actual development of the whole area," Yurdin said. "Now there's a cloud hanging over the area."

PawSox spokeswoman Patti Doyle said a renegotiated agreement takes time and must be agreed on by everyone. She declined to discuss the revised terms.

A state agency, the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission, owns the waterfront land on which the PawSox want to build. Attorneys for the commission reviewed a "revised PBC term sheet" on July 2 and again on July 7, according to the documents released to the AP. PBC Associates is the team's corporate name.

The timing coincided with the team's launch of a public relations push it calls a "listening tour," in which team representatives would visit Rhode Island's 39 cities and towns to speak with residents. The first meeting was held July 7.

During the listening tour stops, PawSox representatives have repeatedly faced questions about the plan, but they respond by saying they don't know the details because the deal is being renegotiated.

"There's no news," Boston Red Sox senior adviser Charles Steinberg said at an Aug. 17 forum.

The team's ownership group, led by Boston Red Sox President Larry Lucchino, has been meeting behind closed doors with I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Chairman Joseph Azrack and economist Andrew Zimbalist, who has been hired by House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello to negotiate on his behalf after the team's first proposal died.

When asked about the length of time it has taken since a revised proposal was presented, Dyana Koelsch, spokeswoman for the commission, said in a statement there are many things that must happen before a stadium can move forward, including approval from regulators, agreement from stakeholders and "financial terms that are fair and that make sense for Rhode Islanders."

"All of the various issues need further attention," she said.

Yurdin said he understands the need for negotiations but is concerned the public is being left out.

"If there is some general consensus on an agreement and they're waiting for one block to be put in place, that's not fair to the public," he said.

Mattiello said Tuesday he would characterize the talks "more as a discussion than a negotiation." He would not discuss details of terms that are being discussed, but said he has an understanding of some of them. He re-iterated that any formal proposal would be "revenue neutral."

"Now that we have those broad terms, the governor and I are going to review them," he said. "I'll meet with the governor in about a week and discuss the terms. If we get beyond that point, I need to get buy-in from the public."