Pawsox stadium talks dead?

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 11.44.43 AMNews flash! State Rep. Aaron Regunberg has sent out an email blast announcing that negotiations between the state and the owners of the PawSox have ended without a deal and that the Providence waterfront ballpark idea is dead. I have no other information than that.

World turned upside down!

[Update: Speaker Mattiello has spoken, confirming the talks’ breakdown.]

If true, I find it disappointing. The stadium, if built in the traditional style proposed, with a deal good for the state (nobody was in favor of the first deal), could have made the Route 195 land more attractive for business and for citizens, at least more so than the public park that has been proposed. The riverfront is already lined with parks, so a ballpark could have provided a civic amenity that Providence lacks.

So if the stadium is dead, maybe officials for the city and state can make sure the park will be better than it has seemed thus far. A goofy pedestrian bridge seems to be on hold, while a goofy pavilion may or may not be in the works. And a private entrepreneur wants to build an outdoor concert and events facility where the park (or stadium) would be.

Let’s hope that if this news is true, something better will emerge. Providence and Rhode Island have a history in recent years of doing really great stuff, moving railroads, moving rivers, moving highways, building a dynamic and attractive downtown shopping mall, not to mention revitalizing the city’s commercial core. Let’s build on that record.

Here is my apparently prescient analysis, “Tidbits of stadium news,” from Sept 14. Long ago, after lead owner James Skeffington’s death last May, in “The Skeffington legacy?” I wrote, “My take is that if they just want to take the money and run, the vision will fade soon enough.”

About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
This entry was posted in Architecture, Development, I-195 Redevelopment District, Landscape Architecture, Providence, Rhode Island, Urbanism and planning and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Pawsox stadium talks dead?

  1. Michael Tyrrell says:

    They won’t be the only ones leaving RI!… This sucks.
    This provincial state may very well have its head…
    Oh never mind.


    • I doubt the PawSox will be leaving Pawtucket now, or R.I. The people of Fall River, New Bedford, Springfield or other hard-up cities in southern New England are no more likely to subsidize a stadium than Rhode Island was. If subsidies are the key, with no benefactor mojo going on, there is no place for the PawSox to go. At least in Pawtucket they have a stadium. They will eventually sell the team to someone who is not put off by its dull, status-quo, low-return prospects.


  2. I have heard neither “loud lamentations” nor “noise and laughter” – and certainly not the requisite horns and drums nor fat ladies warbling… Shhh, maybe that’s them now….


  3. Stephen ORourke says:

    Of course it’s dead!

    With the city and Brown shaking them down, why would they want to build there?

    My prediction: they move the team out of RI as revenge!


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