Neighborhood association voices opposition of downtown stadium

An artist rendering of what the new PawSox owners' proposed downtown Providence ballpark would look like. (credit: DAIQ/Populous, via PawSox)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The pitch for a new PawSox stadium in downtown Providence is facing a new round of opposition.

According to a letter released by the Fox Point Neighborhood Association, the association has voted to oppose the building of a new stadium downtown.

The proposed stadium site – located on the old 195 land – is just across the river from Fox Point.

In a letter addressed to the Federal Highway Administration, the 195 Redevelopment Commission and other organizations, FNPA Vice President Daisy Schnepel says the plan to build a new stadium at that location goes against the original intention for developing the land.

“In 1997, the Federal Highway Administration wisely approved a re-development plan that mandated this now-coveted 4.8-acre plot of riverfront land be designated for use as a public park,” she said. “They said we lacked green space.”

PHOTOS: Artist renderings of proposed Providence stadium >>
PHOTOS: Artist renderings of proposed Providence stadium »

“The objective was to re-link our city with two riverside parks and a beautifully landscaped pedestrian bridge,” she added. “This central place with a stunning 360-degree view would welcome people from all neighborhoods of varied recreational interests, ages and conditions to walk, relax and play.”

According to the release, the group fears the project would block the views of the river – while increasing noise and pollution.

The association is also concerned about the cost to taxpayers.

Patti Doyle, a spokeswoman for the PawSox, argued that the city doesn’t have to choose between a baseball stadium and a park.

“The beauty of the proposed ballpark is that it is a park within a park,” Doyle said. “We activate a now empty parcel of land with the ballpark, but preserve some three acres for open space and the enjoyment of the entire community. At the same time, we create a real revenue generator for the state and city.”

“That said, we are focused on a renegotiated agreement with the state and look forward to public reaction and debate once those financing details are made clearer,” Doyle added.

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