PawSox Edge Closer to Worcester, What Will Be the Fallout in RI

Monday, August 06, 2018
GoLocalProv News Team

PawSox are 11th out of 14 teams in attendance
Over the past six weeks, there have been a number of developments impacting the Pawtucket Red Sox franchise and the team's future in Rhode Island.

They range from legislation creating a funding structure for a new stadium to minor league baseball officials securing trademarks for the "WooSox" -- the potential team nickname in Worcester, MA. GoLocal recaps the recent developments. 

Legislation Never Publicly Supported by PawSox, Dramatically Increased Cost of Borrowing

The General Assembly passed a bill that had no public support from the Pawtucket Red Sox ownership group. 

The legislation authored by Speaker of the House is estimated drive the cost of the borrowing to more than $200 million. According to the State Senate’s fiscal analysis, the legislation increases the cost of the financing by $83 million over the Senate version.

Despite Mattiello’s claims that the funding structure would take RI taxpayers off the hook in the case of a failure, everyone from Governor Gina Raimondo to the Hassenfeld Institute’s Gary Sasse has disputed that claim. Raimondo signed the PawSox legislation and her official statement said, "As I've said all along, the PawSox belong in Pawtucket. No one wants to see them end up in Worcester. This legislation gives Mayor Grebien an opportunity to work with the team over the coming months to keep them here, and it gives Pawtucket a shot at meaningful economic revitalization."

Little public comment from Lucchino in weeks
Dwindling Public Support

Public support for the PawSox continues to decline. Through 53 home games, the PawSox home attendance is just 5,587 per game, through Friday August 3. The PawSox rank 11th in attendance in the 14 team league. In 2005, the PawSox averaged over 9,500 per game, which was good then for first in the league.

The team has previously said the decreasing attendance is tied to the condition of the existing McCoy Stadium ballpark.

A poll conducted in early June by John Della Volpe of Harvard on behalf of GoLocalProv found that there was little support for public financing of the stadium proposed for the former Apex department store location in Pawtucket.

Just 13 percent of Rhode Islanders ‘strongly support’ public financing and on 33 percent overall support state funding.

The poll question asked, “The Rhode Island General Assembly is in the process of negotiating a $40 million public financing deal with the Pawtucket Red Sox for a new stadium, hoping to bring a vote before the House and Senate this summer.  

In general, do you favor or oppose the use of public funds to help finance a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox?”

Net: Favor                    33%

Strongly favor              13%

Somewhat favor          21%

Net: Oppose                59%

Somewhat oppose      21%

Strongly oppose         38%

Don't know                   8%

No Proposal from Pawtucket Yet

After the passage of the legislation, the City of Pawtucket has yet to put a proposal before the PawSox ownership. Pawtucket Mayor Don Grebien told GoLocal on July 19, “We are still at a preliminary stage. The city continues to meet with the PawSox organization to draft the terms and understanding as written in the enabling legislation passed by the GA and signed by the Gov. There is no definitive schedule.”

Grebien added, “We recognize the legislation has changed dramatically and is not the traditional finance model AAA baseball is used to. The City of Pawtucket and the State of RI have so much more to offer than Worcester, MA. We are aggressively working to put a proposal in front of the PawSox.”

One of three Woosox trademarks

WooSox Trademark and Visits

Most recently, Minor League Baseball has applied for and been granted three trademarks covering the name “WooSox.”

According to the U.S. government's trademark database, the three trademarks were granted on July 26. MassLive reports that, “In an email, [Robert] Fountain cautioned against reading too much into the filing. ‘Minor League Baseball filed this trademark application because other cities are under consideration,’ he wrote. ‘This filing is a legal safety measure and should not be construed as suggesting that any decision has been made.’” Fountain is an attorney representing Minor League Baseball.

Fitton Field
Rumors Swirl

With each week that passes, more rumors swirl about the future of the team and efforts in Rhode Island to retain the PawSox. There have been not publicly confirmed discussions between the Pawtucket Red Sox ownership group and Raimondo or economic development officials at RI Commerce in months.

Worcester officials are similarly refusing public comment on the future of the team. Many are predicting the PawSox officials will not announce their intentions until early September after the end of the PawSox' season.

And, while the team's lease continues until 2020, team officials have been reportedly evaluated Fitton Field at Holy Cross in Worcester as a potential interim location for the team until a new stadium in Worcester can be completed. As presently constructed, Fitton Field has a capacity of 3,000 and is home to a college league team -- the Worcester Bravehearts.

This story was originally published: 8/5/18 2:30 AM

  • Registered Voters

    Q1: Are you registered to vote in Rhode Island?

    Total 501 100%
    Yes: 501 100%
    No: 0 0%
    Don't know: 0 0%

     
  • Gender

    Q2: Are you ...
    Total
    Total: 100%
    Male: 44%
    Female: 56%

     
  • Age

    Q3: In which age group are you?

    18-24:  7%
    25-34:  16%
    35-44:  15%
    45-54:  20%
    55-64: 17%
    65+      25%

     
  • Political Party

    Q4: When it comes to voting, do you consider yourself to be affiliated with the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, Moderate, or Unaffiliated with a major party?

    Democrat: 38%
    Republican:14%
    Moderate: 6%
    Unaffiliated: 39%
    Don't know/Refused: 3%

     
  • Likely Voters

    Q5: Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices.  How likely is it that you will vote in this election?   Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...

     

    Definitely be voting.............................. 81%

    Probably be voting............................... 19%

    All others.............................................   0%

     
  • Top Issue

    Q6: What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?
     

    Taxes.................................................. .18%

    Jobs and economy.............................. 16%

    State budget.........................................11%

    Roads...................................................10%

    Education............................................  8%

    Healthcare...........................................  5%

    Corruption/Public integrity.................... 4%

    Immigration..........................................  4%

    Housing.............................................. ..2%

    Governor............................................. ..2%

    Homelessness.......................................1%

     

    Other.. ............................................... 14%

    Don’t know..........................................   6%

     
  • Direction

    Q7: In general, would you say things in Rhode Island are headed in the right direction or are they off on the wrong track?
     

    Right track........................................... 19%

    Wrong track......................................... 36%

    Mixed.................................................. 45%

     
  • Optimism

    Q8: Thinking ahead several years, is your outlook about Rhode Island more optimistic or more pessimistic?   
     

    Optimistic............................................ 52%

    Pessimistic...........................................48%
     

     
  • Finances

    Q9: Over the last three years or so, has your family's financial situation improved, gotten worse, or not changed at all?
     

    Changed for the better......................... 24%

    Changed for the worse......................... 33%

    Not changed at all................................ 43%

     
  • Governor

    Q10: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Gina Raimondo, a Democrat

    I am sure to vote for her:  9%

    There is a good chance I will vote for her:  19%

    It is possible that I vote for her:  24%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for her:  18%

    I will never vote for her:  31%

     
  • Governor

    Q11: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Matt Brown, a Democrat

    I am sure to vote for him:  4%

    There is a good chance I will vote for him:  8%

    It is possible that I vote for him:  40%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  30%

    I will never vote for him:  17%
     

     
  • Governor

    Q12: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Spencer Dickinson, a Democrat

    I am sure to vote for him:  3%

    There is a good chance I will vote for him:  7%

    It is possible that I vote for him:  37%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  35%

    I will never vote for him:  18%

     
  • Governor

    Q13: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Paul Roselli, a Democrat 

    I am sure to vote for him:  2%

    There is a good chance I will vote for him:  7%

    It is possible that I vote for him:  35%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  37%

    I will never vote for him:  19%

     
  • Governor

    Q14: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Allan Fung, a Republican 

    I am sure to vote for him:  7%

    There is a good chance I will vote for him:  18%

    It is possible that I vote for him:  28%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  25%

    I will never vote for him:  21%

     
  • Governor

    Q15: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Patricia Morgan, a Republican 

    I am sure to vote for her:  3%

    There is a good chance I will vote for her.:   9%

    It is possible that I vote for her:  32%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for her:  35%

    I will never vote for her:  21%

     
  • Governor

    Q16: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Giovanni Feroce, a Republican 

    I am sure to vote for him:  2%

    There is a good chance I will vote for him:  5%

    It is possible that I vote for him:  24%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  35%

    I will never vote for him:  34%

     
  • Governor

    Q17: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Luis-Daniel Muñoz, an Independent

    I am sure to vote for him:  3%

    There is a good chance I will vote for him: 6%

    It is possible that I vote for him: 33%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for him: 38%

    I will never vote for him: 21%

     
  • Governor

    Q18: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Joe Trillo, an Independent

    I am sure to vote for him:  1%

    There is a good chance I will vote for him:  8%

    It is possible that I vote for him:  37%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  34%

    I will never vote for him:  19%

     
  • Governor

    Q20: If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Gina Raimondo, Republican Allan Fung and Independent Joe Trillo - for whom would you vote?        

    Allan Fung, a Republican..................... 33%

    Gina Raimondo, a Democrat................ 33%

    Joe Trillo, and Independent.................. 16%

    Don't know     18%

     
  • Governor

    Q20: If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Gina Raimondo, Republican Patricia Morgan and Independent Joe Trillo - for whom would you vote?         

    Gina Raimondo, a Democrat................ 39%

    Patricia Morgan, a Republican............. 20%

    Joe Trillo, an Independent................... 19%

    Don't know ......................................... 22%

     
  • Governor

    Q21: If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Matt Brown, Republican Allan Fung and Independent Joe Trillo - for whom would you vote? 

    Allan Fung, a Republican..................... 35%

    Matt Brown, a Democrat...................... 25%

    Joe Trillo, an Independent.................... 14%

    Don't know .......................................... 27%
     

     
  • Governor

    Q22: If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Matt Brown, Republican Patricia Morgan and Independent Joe Trillo - for whom would you vote?        

    Matt Brown, a Democrat...................... 30%

    Patricia Morgan, a Republican............. 20%

    Joe Trillo, an Independent.................... 18%

    Don't know .......................................... 33%

     
  • U.S. Senate

    Q23: If the election for the U.S. Senate were held today and the candidates were: [ROTATE] Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse and Republican Robert Nardolillo - for whom would you vote?

    Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat........... 53%

    Robert 'Bobby' Nardolillo, a Republican.. 31%

    Don't know............................................... 16%

     
  • U.S. Senate

    Q24: If the election for the U.S. Senate were held today and the candidates were: [ROTATE] Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse and Republican Robert Flanders - for whom would you vote?           

    Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat........ 54%

    Robert Flanders, a Republican............. 32%

    Don't know.......................................... 14%

     
  • Schools

    Q25: If there was an election today, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $250 million in financing supported general obligation bonds to repair Rhode Island's deteriorating school buildings and bring them up to minimum standards called "warm, safe and dry"?

    Net: Approve...................................... 74%

    Definitely approve............................... 36%

    Probably approve................................ 38%
     

    Net: Reject......................................... 17%

    Probably reject....................................   9%

    Definitely reject....................................   7%


    Don't know..........................................   9%

     
  • PawSox

    Q26: The Rhode Island General Assembly is in the process of negotiating a $40 million public financing deal with the Pawtucket Red Sox for a new stadium, hoping to bring a vote before the House and Senate this summer.  

    In general, do you favor or oppose the use of public funds to help finance a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox?
     

    Net: Favor.......................................... 33%

    Strongly favor...................................... 13%

    Somewhat favor.................................. 21%
     

    Net: Oppose....................................... 59%

    Somewhat oppose.............................. 21%

    Strongly oppose.................................. 38%
     

    Don't know..........................................   8%

     
  • Fane Tower

    Q27: The City of Providence and the state of Rhode Island are considering a proposal by New York developer Jason Fane to build a 46-story luxury residence tower in Providence, next to a public riverfront park.  The developer will invest $250 to $300 million of his own funds.  The project is called the Hope Point Tower, it would be 170-feet taller than the Superman building and would require waiving height restrictions and the use of state tax credits.

    In general, do you favor or oppose development of the Hope Point Tower?

     

    Net: Favor.......................................... 39%

    Strongly favor...................................... 13%

    Somewhat favor.................................. 27%


    Net: Oppose....................................... 50%

    Somewhat oppose.............................. 23%

    Strongly oppose.................................. 27%


    Don't know.......................................... 11%

     
  • Elorza/Traffic Cameras

    Q28: How would you rate the job that Mayor Jorge Elorza has done managing issues related to speed cameras in Providence?

    Net: Excellent/Good.......................... 26%

    Excellent.............................................   6%

    Good................................................... 20%

    Net: Fair/Poor.................................... 74%

    Fair...................................................... 29%

    Poor.................................................... 45%

     
  • Q29: Since it was launched in 2016, UHIP -- the Rhode Island program designed to improve customer service for those who receive federal benefits -- has run into significant problems, including long lines, cost overruns, lost applications, over- and under-charging of patients and families.   

    Based on what you know at this time, what percent of 
    blame for this do you assign to:
     

    Deloitte, the consulting company who
    produced the system........................... 53.3%

    Governor Gina Raimondo, who has
    been governor since the system
    launch in September 2016................... 47.1%

     
  • NIMBYism

    Q30: Presently, there are local groups opposing the development of a natural gas facility in Burrillville, solar projects in Exeter, a LNG facility in Providence and wind projects in North Kingstown. 
    Some people say that it is important for local groups to play a role in opposition 
    of projects like these that could be dangerous or harmful to citizens; 

    Others say that local groups have gone too far to the detriment of the state’s long-term energy needs. 

    Which statement comes closer to your own view?

     

    Local groups play an important role...... 46%

    Local groups have gone too far............. 31%

    Not sure................................................. 24%

     
  • Corruption

    Q31: Compared to other states, do you think there is:

    More political corruption in RI................. 63%

    Less political corruption in RI................   7%

    About the same level as other states..... 30%
     

     
  • Income

    Q32: The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS.  Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).  

    $50,000 or less.................................... 33%

    More $50,000 but less than $75,000..... 18%

    More $75,000 but less than $100,000... 16%

    More $100,000 but less than $150,000. 13%

    $150,000 or more................................ 10%

    Don't know/refused.............................. 10%

     
  • Ethnicity

    Q33: What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?  

    Net: White, Non-Hispanic..................... 82%

    Black or African American....................   6%

    Latino/Hispanic....................................   5%

    Other....................................................   7%

     

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