Senate committee revises bill for proposed PawSox stadium

MarketsAssociated Press

Pawtucket would receive a greater share of revenue from a new, publicly financed stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox minor league baseball team under proposed legislation unveiled by state lawmakers on Thursday.

The state Senate Finance Committee released its version of two stadium-related bills Thursday along with a report analyzing the project, the legislation and the committee's 11 changes.

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Committee Chairman William Conley, a Democrat who represents parts of Pawtucket and East Providence, said the revisions respond to concerns raised during hearings and strengthen "what was already a good deal" to build the planned $83 million stadium.

He said the changes were largely proposed to give the city, which is just north of Providence, greater financial security as lawmakers seek to share the project's cost among the state, the city and the team, a Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

Among the new proposals is a plan to funnel to Pawtucket 50 percent of the stadium's naming rights and surcharges on premium tickets, which had initially been earmarked for the state. The proposal also requires the team to develop a minimum of 50,000 square feet (4,600 square meters) of real estate in the city in addition to the stadium itself.

Other notable changes include a provision that the team pay any construction cost overruns and the elimination of a provision expanding the eminent domain powers for redevelopment agencies in the state.

The committee doesn't plan to vote on the revised legislation until the new legislative session starts in January.