- Associated Press - Monday, August 28, 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A state Senate committee announced Monday that it’s taking up a proposal for a new ballpark for the Pawtucket Red Sox.

The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled hearings through the fall at the Statehouse and at locations around Rhode Island. The first is scheduled for Sept. 14 at the Statehouse.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman William Conley, a Pawtucket Democrat, said he’s committed to a transparent process to thoroughly scrutinize all aspects of the legislation during intensive public hearings.

The committee is reviewing legislation sponsored by Conley to provide a $23 million state investment to help finance the estimated $83 million stadium for the Boston Red Sox Triple-A affiliate in downtown Pawtucket.

The legislation outlines a proposed state lease and payment agreement to build the stadium on the site of a former Apex department store, about a mile from McCoy Stadium, the team’s current home. The team has said it would pay $45 million, and $15 million would be sought from the city.

Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has said hearings in the House Finance Committee are a possibility. None have been scheduled.

Officials in Worcester, Massachusetts, want to lure the team there.

The team’s request in 2015 for about $120 million from taxpayers for a new stadium in Providence met strenuous public opposition.

A new Senate website was established to post information about the hearings and let residents comment about the proposal. The finance committee plans to issue a final report at the end of the process and possibly amend the legislation.

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