The lure of professional sports teams has often been irresistible to municipal leaders. It’s very easy to imagine a stadium filled with happy fans, spending money and spreading civic pride.
It was with that vision that Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra announced that his city would be building a new ballpark for the AA New Britain Rock Cats -- luring a team to the vacant wasteland of parking lots in a part of the city known as “Downtown North.”
It seems, though, that the new ballpark -- planned to be built with up to $60 million dollars in borrowed money -- is not a done deal, at least according to city council president Shawn Wooden, who says he wants to “protect taxpayers.”
The plan faces opposition from a number of fronts, including advocates for a downtown supermarket and long-debated mixed-used development in that part of town. And, of course, from New Britain officials who expressed shock at the year-and-a-half, secret negotiations between the ballclub and Hartford.
This hour, the ongoing story of bringing baseball to Hartford, and what it means to both the Capital City and the state.
- Jeff Cohen - WNPR Reporter
- Thomas Deller - Director of the Department of Developmental Services for the City of Hartford
- Shawn Wooden - President of the Hartford city council; is also in the Aug. 12 primary for the Democratic nomination for the 2nd Senate District
- Pedro Segarra - Mayor of Hartford
- Larry Deutsch - Hartford City Council Minority Leader
- Rex Fowler - Executive Director of the Hartford Community Loan Fund