City Auditor Fiscal Ending 2020

Reason Column Again: Taxpayers Still on the Hook for Stadium Debts, Even Though Coronavirus Canceled Sports



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This section.    Actually we are now on the hood, we believe to the tune of $90 million


The Pawtucket Red Sox's final season was supposed to be hitting its midpoint right about now. After 51 years in Rhode Island, the "Paw Sox" are scheduled to decamp to Worcester, Massachusetts, where city officials have used their eminent domain powers—and taxpayers' money—to lure the team to one of the most expensive minor league ballparks ever built.
The coronavirus pandemic has delayed, and maybe fully canceled, the team's season-long goodbye to Pawtucket. In Worcester, meanwhile, the COVID-19 outbreak should cause city officials to worry they might have made a huge mistake.
The Massachusetts city issued more than $100 million in bonds to pay for the construction of the ballpark, two adjacent hotels, an office park, and a collection of apartments, restaurants, and bars. Almost all of that could have been funded by private developers, but the city decided to take the risk itself. Although the Red Sox are supposed to pay off $36 million of the project's cost with future revenue, Worcester taxpayers are on the hook for more than $70 million in general obligation bonds tied to the project.




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