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Monday, April 20, 2015

Sign this petition!

No Corporate Welfare for Skeffington and the PawSox
Campaign created by Andrew Stewart

No Corporate Welfare for Skeffington and the PawSox
No deal, Jim!
To sign the following petition, click here.


We, the undersigned, call on Gov. Raimondo to reject any and all legislation that would make tax payers foot the bill for a grand experiment in bringing a baseball team to Providence. 

The land where the proposed park will be built was promised to the working people of this state as a place to foster business and development. 

A ball park will destroy any and all economic diversification and result in a further decline in employment possibilities for those in desperate need of viable careers here in the Ocean State.

Why is this important?

James Skeffington is the major proponent of moving the PawSox to Providence at the expense of the Rhode Island tax payer. This is a deal that will become the 38 Studios of the Raimondo administration. A brief review of the record shall prove illuminating. 

1) Attorney Skeffington previously represented the founders of the RI Convention Center. As part of that deal, he worked it out that taxpayers would subsidize costs for the Convention Center until they turned a profit. As of 2015, the tax payer is subsidizing the Convention Center. 

2) If a minor league team is so beneficial to the city, why is Pawtucket such a mess? One would think such a profitable enterprise might have benefit for the city's growth, but in reality, any and all economic upsurge is coming from the art and tech sectors. 

3) One does not put a child through college selling hot dogs and peanuts. Any kind of work at McCoy is un-unionized, seasonal, menial labor, not a career. 

4) Every summer, on a monthly basis, traffic in Providence becomes a complete disaster due to Water Fire. You want to do that multiple times a week every summer? Oh yeah, that is sure to attract more businesses and industry. 

5) Except for the yearly boom around the Playoffs and the World Series, baseball is not the huge moneymaker it was 20 years ago, they never have recovered from the strike. Baseball fields have been desperate to make up for the loss of profits by hosting concerts, out-of-season sporting events like the Winter Classic, and even preachers like Billy Graham. Providence already has the Dunk, the PPAC, Lupo's, and about a million other venues that don't carry the risk of rain cancellations. No promoter in their right mind is going to say 'Do I want to go to one of the ten most modernized venues on the East Coast to book an act or do I want to throw a show at a venue that has a 50-50 chance of being cancelled by rain, ESPECIALLY since April-July in RI is essentially monsoon season?" 

6) 38 Studios was a complete debacle, but it's very easy to re-purpose a failed video game designer office into an office park. It's not so easy to do that with a baseball diamond. 

7) The construction of the ball park will require a substantial level of highway reconfiguration, both in Providence and on I-195, which will be of further cost to the tax payers.