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Senate committee takes up proposal for new PawSox stadium

The Pawtucket Red Sox released this rendering of a ballpark at the Apex property on Main Street in Pawtucket.

A state Senate committee announced Monday that it's taking up a proposal for a new ballpark for the Pawtucket Red Sox.

The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled hearings through the fall at the State House and at locations around Rhode Island. The first is scheduled for Sept. 14 at the State House.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman William Conley, a Pawtucket Democrat, said he's committed to a transparent process to thoroughly scrutinize all aspects of the legislation during intensive public hearings.

The committee is reviewing legislation sponsored by Conley to provide a $23 million state investment to help finance the estimated $83 million stadium for the Boston Red Sox Triple-A affiliate in downtown Pawtucket.

The legislation outlines a proposed state lease and payment agreement to build the stadium on the site of a former Apex department store, about a mile from McCoy Stadium, the team's current home. The team has said it would pay $45 million, and $15 million would be sought from the city.

Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has said hearings in the House Finance Committee are a possibility. None have been scheduled.

Officials in Worcester, Massachusetts, want to lure the team there.

The team's request in 2015 for about $120 million from taxpayers for a new stadium in Providence met strenuous public opposition.

A new Senate website was established to post information about the hearings and let residents comment about the proposal. The finance committee plans to issue a final report at the end of the process and possibly amend the legislation.

The following hearing schedule was released:

  • Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 6 p.m. at the Rhode Island State House, Room 313.
  • Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at 6 p.m. at William E. Tolman High School Auditorium, 150 Exchange St., Pawtucket.
  • Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at 6 p.m. at the University of Rhode Island, Swan Hall Auditorium, 60 Upper College Road, Kingston.
  • Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 6 p.m. at the New England Institute of Technology, Media Presentation Theatre, 1 New England Tech Blvd., East Greenwich.
  • Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 6 p.m. at Roger Williams University School of Law, Room 283, 10 Metacom Ave., Bristol.
  • Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 6 p.m. at Bryant University, Bello Center Grand Hall, 1150 Douglas Pike, Smithfield.

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