Pawtucket Soccer Stadium $60 million in public funding


Gov. Dan McKee will try again on Monday to get the state’s Commerce Corporation to approve a reworked financing plan for a Pawtucket football stadium.

The company’s board of directors, which oversees most of the state’s economic development spending, last year approved an incentive package for the construction of a housing, retail and entertainment complex around of a professional football stadium.

But last month, board members balked when McKee, Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien and team owner Fortuitous Partners asked them to redirect nearly all public investment to the stadium, leaving funding for the rest of the project uncertain. The estimated cost of construction has skyrocketed this year due to inflation.

A stadium-focused package very similar to the one board members had questions about last month will come back before the Commerce Corporation on Monday, Commerce Secretary Liz Tanner said Thursday.

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During a business tour in East Greenwich on Thursday afternoon, Tanner said that after the Commerce Council questioned the deal last month, “we went to work with our colleagues in the town of Pawtucket and the developer to achieve this and we’ve made progress,” according to a copy of his prepared remarks provided by the governor’s office.

Although Tanner hinted at some small differences in the plan from what was presented in June, she did not describe them in detail. Including city and state dollars, the plan presented to council last month included about $60 million in public funds.

“The Governor has made it clear that the project must have strong taxpayer protections, including that state money will not flow to the project until the project is actually constructed and completed,” he said. she declared.

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And, she said, the state “has asked the developer to consider adding more housing to the project.”

But the main concern of board members last month was that by agreeing to put all the incentives at the stadium, the state will then have to shell out an unknown amount of money in the future if it wants the rest of the project is built.

Neither Fortuitous nor state officials have made a public estimate of the cost of the off-stage portion of development.

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