The Center recommends that the voters of Rhode Island should decided the fate of the proposed new PawSox stadium, and avoid eminent domain.

Center Recommends Public Referendum on PawSox Stadium

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 14, 2017

Bonds Should Be Approved by Voters

Eminent Domain Reforms Also Recommended

Providence, RI — The Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity, in seeking to advance good government that represents the people, recommends that the voters of Rhode Island should decided the fate of the proposed new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox.

With hearings set to begin on related and controversial legislation, the Center believes an alternative path is a superior approach: where the people of Rhode Island have the question placed directly before them in a 2018 referendum, as is the process for most public bonds. The 38-Studios moral-obligation bond disaster demonstrates what can happen when lawmakers bypass the public.

“There is simply too much distrust of government right now for the public to accept what will be perceived as a backroom deal. If this stadium is to be publicly owned, then the people should have a direct say,” suggested Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “This is not your typical corporate subsidy deal and has many subtleties. Proponents and opponents should have the chance to make their case to the public and let the chips fall where they may.”


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The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

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Regarding the related issue of eminent domain, the Center encourages state and local officials to avoid setting any precedents before it is clear the public supports the venture. The further Center reiterates its position that the government seizure of private property should never occur for private economic development purposes. However, the fact that the proposed stadium would be publicly owned, presents an added consideration; but is yet another reason why the public should first make the call.

The Center continues to recommend that state eminent domain statutes be reformed to prohibit eminent domain for private uses, similar to the bill (S2409) submitted by Senator Mark Cote (D, Woonsocket) in 2016.

“The Pawtucket Red Sox are all about its fan base. It’s only proper that those fans should decide this issue,” concluded Stenhouse.


The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

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