State leaders must lead on PawSox proposal

The state Senate’s scheduling of fall public hearings on a proposal for a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox is a step toward sending the right signals to the team’s owners. But state leaders are playing a dangerous game if they think they don’t have to take the threat of the team moving elsewhere seriously.

As Worcester, Mass., officials have begun courting the PawSox, Rhode Island leaders have sent mixed signals about working out a deal to build a new stadium in Pawtucket.

Gov. Gina M. Raimondo has spoken positively about the most recent proposal, calling for $38 million in borrowing from the city and state. But she has taken pains not to be seen as championing it.

Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio also likes the project and supports a November General Assembly vote. But House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello has been silent, creating an eerily similar dynamic to the sad turf war between him and Mr. Ruggerio that left this fiscal year’s budget in limbo for a month.

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State leaders must lead, not follow, by speaking with one voice on wanting to keep the team in Rhode Island, and commit to a vote by the end of the year on the financing.