House speaker: Talks between state, PawSox have stopped

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Negotiations between the state and the Pawtucket Red Sox for a proposed stadium on waterfront land in downtown Providence have stopped, a spokesman for the House speaker said Friday.

“There’s been no movement or activity on this because of the significant barriers regarding the ownership of the land,” said Larry Berman, spokesman for House speaker Nicholas Mattiello.

Negotiations stopped two weeks ago, when it was disclosed that Brown University wants $15 million for the 2.19-acre parcel it owns that is part of the area the team wants to build on, Berman said. Economic incentives sought by Providence are another “significant barrier,” he said.

Berman declined to provide further details.

On Thursday, Gov. Gina Raimondo told Rhode Island public radio her impression is that the deal involving the former Interstate 195 land is dead and that the land was “not a suitable place” for the proposed stadium.

Raimondo spokeswoman Marie Aberger declined to elaborate on the governor’s comments, but said in an email Friday that there “continue to be a number of challenges around this proposal for the I-195 land.”

“In our discussions with the team owners, we have encouraged them to take a fresh look at Pawtucket and other locations,” Aberger said.

PawSox spokeswoman Patti Doyle said the team has been assessing the information it received from Brown and the city. She wouldn’t confirm whether the deal was dead or say whether the team remains focused on the I-195 land.

The team’s ownership group, led by Boston Red Sox President Larry Lucchino, had been working with state officials to renegotiate a deal since April, after the team’s original proposal asking for $120 million in state subsidies faced strong public opposition. The team also had asked for the 5-acre parcel of prime waterfront land that was freed up after I-195 was relocated.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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