PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — State commerce officials are expected to reconvene next week to discuss the possibility of putting more state funding toward the Pawtucket soccer stadium project, although officials warn they are still seeking to lower the state’s financial exposure.
Gov. Dan McKee spokesperson Matt Sheaff confirmed R.I. Commerce Corp. is expected to meet at 2 p.m. Tuesday to discuss a potential deal for the project known as Tidewater Landing in Pawtucket. Developer Fortuitous Partners has been seeking $30 million in additional state support after inflation and supply chain issues have caused development costs to skyrocket in recent months, but state officials so far have been reluctant to pony up the extra support.
“We’ve made progress this week moving the Tidewater project forward while potentially lowering state taxpayer exposure,” Sheaff said. “We will continue to dialogue with the parties between now and then, aiming for strong taxpayer protections and a sound agreement.”
The cost of Phase 1 of the project — which is slated to be anchored by a professional soccer stadium — has increased from $284 million to $344 million. The cost of the stadium alone has increased nearly 50% compared to what was originally estimated.
Fortuitous’ Brett Johnson and Pawtucket leaders met with Commerce earlier this week to discuss the possibility of receiving additional state support. But Commerce board members and the governor’s office have been adamant they want some non-revenue resources to help cover the $30 million financing gap.
Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien has been sounding the alarm, warning that he believes the developer could walk away if they don’t get some additional public support.