PawSox refuse Senate’s request for disclosure of team owners’ profits

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox have refused a request from the Senate Finance Committee to disclose how much of an annual profit the team generates at McCoy Stadium.

In written answers to questions from the committee – which is weighing whether taxpayers should back a new ballpark in Pawtucket – PawSox Chairman Larry Lucchino and other officials argued they should not have to disclose their profit and revenue numbers in exchange for having a government entity float $71 million in bonds for the stadium.

“The Team has endeavored to provide the Committee with as much financial information as possible without disclosing sensitive proprietary information,” they wrote.

“The materials submitted accurately paint a picture of the Team’s financially stable but somewhat stagnant and challenging business model at McCoy Stadium, and the Team most recently shared a consolidated balance sheet that we think adds specificity to the picture,” they continued.

The balance sheet, released last week, showed the privately-owned PawSox had $7 million in liabilities and $18.2 million in assets as of Dec. 31, giving Lucchino and the other team owners $11.2 million in net equity. No comparative figures from other years were provided, though the owners did disclose that their net equity had fallen by about $2 million over the previous 12 months.

In addition to Lucchino, other members of the PawSox ownership group include former CVS CEO Thomas Ryan, former Fleet CEO Terry Murray and Providence Equity Partners senior managing director Paul Salem.

On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee wrapped up weeks of hearings on the PawSox plan, and the House Finance Committee has also completed all its scheduled hearings on the plan. The Senate panel is expected to recommend changes to the ballpark legislation soon, and supporters of the stadium are hoping for lawmakers to vote on the proposal this fall.

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com. He writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook