Now or Never on Ballpark at Slater Mill Mayor Donald R. Grebien issues a call for action


PAWTUCKET – Mayor Donald R. Grebien calls for the General Assembly to act
immediately to approve the Ballpark at Slater Mill. This ballpark and the ancillary
development are critical for Pawtucket’s future. Rhode Island is in jeopardy of
losing the PawSox, the development around the new ballpark and the millions of
dollars in revenue that the state receives from the team being here.

Currently, the City of Worcester is finalizing a deal to build a stadium for the
PawSox. Massachusetts Governor Baker publically committed to the project, and the
City of Worcester is prepared to commit significant dollars to the new stadium

«Rhode Island’s leaders must act and approve this proposal in January,» said Mayor
Grebien. «Our PawSox are going to end up in Worcester if we do not act. We cannot
afford to watch the tax dollars go to another city and another state.»

It is not for a lack of vetting. After lengthy analysis and negotiations by
CommerceRI; after 10 General Assembly hearings; after drafted and redrafted
legislative language; after vetting and review by elected leaders, staff, the
public, the media, and national experts; after the Governor, Lieutenant Governor,
Attorney General, Treasurer, eight mayors, chambers of commerce from across the
state, labor groups, Grow Smart and others have all endorsed the deal. Why? Because
they know it is a good deal for Rhode Island and for Pawtucket.

The City has developers ready to invest and build around the downtown ballpark, such
as hotels, housing, and retail space. The Pawtucket Red Sox have also committed to
development around the stadium all of which would generate millions of dollars in
additional revenue for the state and city. In fact, the Pawtucket Red Sox’s $45
million commitment is the largest private investment in the City’s history. All we
have to do is say yes.

Mayor Grebien added, «Rhode Islanders don’t want to see yet another icon, place for
families and business disappear. And Pawtucket cannot lose our chance to re-build
our city and boost the Blackstone Valley. Now, as elected leaders, we cannot be
paralyzed by the past. We have to move our great state forward. We have to act. And
we have to act now.»

The enabling legislation has been vetted and input has been incorporated after 35
hours of public hearings and testimony by the General Assembly. We heard
overwhelming support from Rhode Islanders at the hearings. A seventy-four-page
report was completed leading to the same conclusion -this is good for Rhode Island
and great for Pawtucket.