PawSox owners should pay bigger share of funding for new ballpark

To the Editor:
A simple survey asking Rhode Islanders of their interest in minor league baseball and whether or not they would attend games in a newly constructed stadium would have been more than adequate to ascertain support. You would be surprised!

The media, and specifically Providence Business News, should cease immediately in calling the $33 million Pawtucket Red Sox bond requirement as their contribution! This bond is nonrecourse bona fide debt and carries an obligation to be paid back over a 30-year period. The only real cash injection on this $83 million project is a paltry $12 million. The media should be asking the question as to what happens in the event of a default.

The answer is the PawSox investor group can walk and neither Pawtucket nor the state can do anything to require them to cure the default without a guaranty. Remember, [news organizations] and numerous business organizations and chambers of commerce supported 38 Studios. At least [38 Studios founder] Curt Schilling invested in excess of $50 million of his own money in his company as opposed to the less than 15 percent equity of the PawSox group.

If this is such a great deal, why is it the legislation requires whoever the governor is to apportion monies annually in the budget to cover the debt service on the bonds, in the event of the group being unable to make payment on the bonds. Without this provision, sophisticated investors would not purchase the bonds. Also, what happens if a change of ownership should occur? You don’t think the PawSox investors are going to be around for 30 years!

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Henry A. “Bud” Violet
Ocean State Business Development Authority founder