Elected officials want PawSox financial info in stadium deal
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — If the Pawtucket Red Sox want Rhode Island to help build a new $83 million stadium, they’re going to have to disclose financial information that the team has so far kept under wraps, the governor and the head of the Senate Finance Committee said Thursday.
Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo told WPRO-AM that if the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox wants a state subsidy, it will have to open its books. Lawmakers are considering legislation that would allow the state to provide $23 million and the city $15 million to help fund a stadium, and the project would be financed in large part by government-issued bonds.
“I used to be in business. I used to make a lot of investments. You would never do a deal without doing due diligence. You do the due diligence, you go in, you look at the books. You see what’s going on,” Raimondo said. “If they want the state to be their partner, they can’t hide anything from us. You know, that’s part of the deal. And if they don’t want to then fine, finance it on your own.”
WPRI-TV reported Wednesday that team chairman Larry Lucchino had said in written responses to the Senate committee this week that the team would not disclose its annual revenue and profit. Lucchino said the organization has released as much financial information as possible without revealing sensitive data. A balance sheet released last week shows more than $18 million in assets and $7 million in liabilities.
Raimondo told WPRO she respects that the team does not want financial information released publicly for competitive reasons, but she said it should be shared confidentially with state officials and members of the Senate Finance Committee who asked for it.
Later Thursday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman William Conley said the panel needs information to assess the financial stability of the team as a partner in the proposed ballpark.
“Discussions are ongoing, however, the committee will not move forward without this necessary information,” Conley said.
Such deals usually receive a financial review and assessment from the Commerce Corporation, the state’s economic development agency, but that has not been done in this case, Conley said. Because of that, he said the committee is working with the team to vet the deal.