Fortuitous Partners celebrates topping off of Tidewater Landing stadium

RHODE ISLAND FC, the state’s only professional soccer team, and Fortuitous Partners, the company that’s building the team’s new home, recently celebrated a milestone in the construction process for the Tidewater Landing stadium along the Seekonk River in Pawtucket. / COURTESY FORTUITOUS PARTNERS

PAWTUCKET – Rhode Island’s only professional soccer team and the company that’s building its new home recently celebrated a milestone in the construction process for the Tidewater Landing stadium project along the Seekonk River in Pawtucket.

Rhode Island FC, the USL Championship squad that kicked off its inaugural season this year at Beirne Stadium at Bryant University, joined developer Fortuitous Partners recently for a topping-off ceremony.

The event, attended by Gov. Daniel J. McKee, celebrated the final piece of structural steel being raised and installed for the 10,500-seat, multi-use stadium on a 25-acre site next to Interstate 95. The stadium is expected to be constructed in time for Rhode Island FC’s second season next year, but the project also includes future phases of development on both sides of the Seekonk River, entailing hundreds of housing units, a parking garage, retail and restaurants, an event center, a hotel, riverwalks and a pedestrian bridge.

“The Stadium at Tidewater Landing is a key part of the greater Tidewater Landing project that will revitalize long-vacant land in Pawtucket, turning it into a place for people to live, shop, work and watch Rhode Island’s only professional soccer team compete,” said Brett Johnson, Fortuitous Partners founder, and co-founder and chairman of Rhode Island FC. “From day one, I have believed in this project. I am so proud of our progress, and I look forward to celebrating more construction milestones in the future.”

- Advertisement -

The project, which was first announced in 2019 and broke ground in 2022, comes with a price tag of at least $124 million.

Fortuitous Partners raised $50 million in private equity from unnamed sources to finance the stadium and the team, but at one point construction stalled last year as the company drummed up the final $14.5 million of that. Fortuitous said its private investment in Tidewater Landing represents the largest private capital investment in any Rhode Island development in more than a century.

However, much of the financing for the project has been from local and state governments.

Earlier this year, the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency sold $54 million in tax-exempt bonds in collaboration with the state to help build the stadium. Those bonds would provide the $27 million the state had pledged for the project, but it’s estimated that taxpayers will pay $132 million in principal and interest over the next 30 years to repay the bonds, which far exceeds the $59 million that was estimated two years ago. Also, the R.I. Commerce Corp. authorized an additional $14 million in tax credits, and the city of Pawtucket provided $10 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds, on top of a tax treaty that will save the stadium owner up to $37 million in property taxes over 20 years.

The developer and supporters like McKee said the stadium is part of a larger public-private partnership in downtown Pawtucket, which will also include housing, restaurants, retail stores and other recreational amenities.

“The Tidewater Project is more than just a soccer stadium – it’s an economic game-changer for Pawtucket and Rhode Island,” McKee said. “The latest progress is a testament to our strong public-private partnership and I’m grateful for the hard work and perseverance of our leaders. This is another milestone on our way to welcoming more good-paying jobs and revitalizing the riverfront.”

Marc Larocque is a PBN contributing writer. Contact him at Larocque@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter @LaRockObama. 

No posts to display