Hartford Officials Withdraw $60M Proposal To Fund Downtown Rock Cats Stadium
Hartford city officials have "backed away from a proposal" to bond up to $60M for a new stadium north of downtown for the Double-A Eastern League Rock Cats' move from New Britain, saying that they will instead "seek a private partner to finance much of the project," according to Vanessa De La Torre of the HARTFORD COURANT. In a letter to the city council on Friday, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra "formally withdrew the resolution that faced loud opposition from a group of taxpayers -- and some fellow Democrats -- who argued that the cost for a ballpark would be too high for a poor city that endures budget cuts every year." Segarra said that the council is expected to "see a new resolution for the stadium at its Aug. 11 meeting." That plan would be "contingent on the 'public-private partnership' that has yet to be determined," as proposals from developers are due Aug. 1. The city's "shift toward private funding comes about a week after a public meeting in which some residents aired their anger over the stadium project that Segarra once called a 'done deal.'" Rock Cats execs have said that they would "sign a 25-year lease and move to Hartford if the city builds a new stadium" (HARTFORD COURANT, 7/12). In N.Y., Benjamin Mueller wrote under the header, "One Team, Two Cities, And None Are Happy." From the beginning, the ballpark "stirred resentment in a state that has grown weary of intertown feuds and overly optimistic development plans" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/12).