republican party


Last night, the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation Board voted to increase the taxpayer subsidy for a PawSoccer stadium to $60 million.  The new stadium is estimated to cost $124 million and would be the “most expensive” stadium for a U.S. minor league soccer stadium in history.  The PawSoccer developers estimated the new stadium would attract 7,600 fans per game although the average for a minor league soccer stadium is about 4,000 per game, and the nearby New England Revolution only attracts about 18,000 per game.  According to the Providence Journal, Governor Dan McKee, who was the tie-breaking vote on the board, indicated “he wasn’t thinking about what will happen if fans don’t show up.”
R.I. Republican National Committeeman Steve Frias commented: “If this PawSoccer stadium gets built, it will turn into a historic debacle for taxpayers.  As has been shown repeatedly by economists, sports stadiums don’t pay for themselves.  Taxpayer subsidies for sports stadiums are the epitome of corporate welfare.  There are much better uses of taxpayer money than this stadium.  Recently, in Worcester, the most expensive minor league baseball stadium was built, and it already appears that the promised level of development surrounding the ball park will not materialize.  This PawSoccer deal will probably turn out worse than the WooSox deal because at least the minor league Red Sox team has an established fan base.
Frias continued: “Unfortunately, Governor McKee does not care about whether this deal makes sense for taxpayers.  By his vote last night, McKee has shown that he is more interested in making sure that union members show up for him in the Democratic primary than whether enough people will actually show up to PawSoccer games for this deal to work.