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Massachusetts Gov. Baker says PawSox haven’t approached him

May 20, 2015

SMITHFIELD, R.I. (AP) — The owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox have not approached Massachusetts officials amid negotiations with Rhode Island over the team’s plan to build a stadium in downtown Providence, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday.

The Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox has said if it doesn’t get the land that it wants — a parcel along the Providence River — and a deal with Rhode Island, it will look to move to another state.

When asked whether he supports public subsidies for a stadium, Baker said it depends on the details.

“If you look at the way Gillette Stadium got built, for example, there was public investment in the infrastructure associated with that move,” Baker said during an appearance at Bryant University in Rhode Island. “But the actual stadium itself was privately constructed, and I think in some respects, that was a model that worked in Massachusetts.”

Meanwhile, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, also at Bryant, said she supports public funding for a stadium if the project helps the state’s economy and creates jobs.

“Yes, if it’s the right deal. If it is commensurate with the economic value and job creation the stadium is going to bring to Rhode Island,” Raimondo said.

Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello told PawSox co-owner Larry Lucchino on Tuesday that the state would present a counter-offer to the ownership group within the next week or two, according to Mattiello spokesman Larry Berman. Previously, lawmakers had said they were waiting for a new proposal from the PawSox.

The team’s original proposal, asking for $120 million in state subsidies, was rejected by lawmakers.

When asked about the counter-offer, Raimondo said, “It’s always been up to the state” and that negotiations are ongoing.

“They made a proposal, we rejected the initial proposal because it was unaffordable for the state, and now we’re continuing with negotiations to see if there is a deal we think would be in the best interest for the taxpayers,” Raimondo said.

PawSox President James Skeffington’s death Sunday has led to questions about the team’s future plans.

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