Pawtucket USL stadium project gets green light

The Rhode Island State Commerce board has voted in favour of constructing a new 10,000-seat United Soccer League stadium in the city of Pawtucket.

Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee cast the tiebreaking vote for the Tidewater Landing Stadium project. The groundbreaking for the $124m (£102m/€122m) stadium is scheduled for August 12.

The stadium will be developed by Fortuitous Partners, which has reached an agreement on a public-private partnership with the state and the City of Pawtucket. More private dollars will be committed to the stadium than any other such project in the USL.

The Providence Journal newspaper reports that Fortuitous Partners and other private investors would cover around 63% of the stadium cost under the current plan.

Governor McKee said that the state will not be financially responsible for any cost escalations, nor will any state funds be spent prior to a permanent certificate of occupancy being awarded.

The multi-use stadium will serve as the anchor of a wide-ranging development that will also include housing, restaurants, retail and recreational services. It is hoped the project will support thousands of jobs and generate millions of dollars in tax revenue.

The Governor also said that the project will require a 30-year commitment to field a USL Championship Division team. Pawtucket does not currently have a USL team but plans are in the works to create a name, logo and branding in the coming months.

The stadium will be built near the Seekonk River on the site of a former coal gasification plant.

Images: USL