PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CBS/AP) — The new owner of the Pawtucket Red Sox has died.
The 73-year-old Skeffington died Sunday while jogging in Barrington, where he lived, team spokeswoman Patti Doyle said. His brother, Jack Skeffington, said the cause was a heart attack.READ MORE: I-Team: Kids In Crisis Spend Weeks In Emergency Room Waiting For Mental Health Services
Skeffington, a Providence attorney, had recently bought the organization with Boston Red Sox President Larry Lucchino and was in the process of trying to move the team to Providence.
In announcing the deal, the group also announced a controversial and potentially expensive decision: The team would leave Pawtucket’s McCoy Stadium and hoped to build a stadium on riverfront land in downtown Providence. The ownership group initially asked for $120 million in state subsidies for a stadium but said it was formulating a new plan after it met opposition.
Skeffington in recent days had been visiting community groups and others to talk about his vision.READ MORE: Worcester Businesses Hope WooSox Help Them Bounce Back From COVID Pandemic
The ownership group has said if it can’t strike a deal in Providence, it will move to Massachusetts.
“Jim was an extremely loyal and charitable man who, in his all too brief time with the PawSox, relished his new role as club president. He enjoyed learning all he could about the PawSox operation and meeting fans, staff, and players,” the team said in a written statement. “Jim was committed to keeping the PawSox in Rhode Island and sharing his vision for a new ballpark.”
A prominent lawyer in Providence, Skeffington had been involved in past public-private development projects, including the Rhode Island Convention center and the Providence Place Mall.
House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said he was deeply saddened by the news and called Skeffington a legend who had a hand in nearly every major project in the state for decades.
“It is tragic that he did not live long enough to see his vision for the Pawtucket Red Sox come to fruition, but he left a legacy that will live on for generations to come,” Mattiello said in a written statement.
His brother said a funeral date hadn’t been set yetMORE NEWS: TD Garden Capacity Increases As Bruins Head Into Playoffs
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