More Questions About Rock Cats Relocation

By Tara Joyce
|  Thursday, Jun 19, 2014  |  Updated 9:04 PM EDT
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Funding and the future of a downtown supermarket in question as the Rock Cats discuss a new Hartford stadium

Funding and the future of a downtown supermarket in question as the Rock Cats discuss a new Hartford stadium

Rock Cat relocation questions are being fielded once again.

Today, Hartford City Council President Shawn Wooden expressed concerns about where funding for a new $60 million stadium will come from.

“The proposed stadium project should be funded by multiple revenue streams,” said Wooden. “It is unfair to taxpayers of a municipality to pay 100 percent of the cost.”

Wooden is not the only one looking for answers. The Metro Hartford Alliance is now working to piece together the bigger economic picture.

“We want to understand what this means to the city financially, from an entertainment standpoint and what it means for residents,” said president and CEO Oz Griebel.

Both topics are being discussed at tonight’s Hartford 2000 meeting. Hartford 2000 is the coalition of the city’s 13 Neighborhood Revitalization Zone Committees and the City of Hartford. Another topic on the agenda is plans for a downtown supermarket that appear to be striking out.

“Our operator, our team feels like this location is no longer appropriate for the project,” said Rex Fowler, executive director of the Hartford Community Loan Fund.

According to Fowler, the master plan presented by the city in December outlined a residential retail space. That has since changed. The proposed supermarket site sits directly across the street from the proposed stadium.

“My neighbors they were extremely hopeful that we were going to be able to bring a new opportunity for them to access healthy and affordable food for the city,” said Fowler. “We’re not able to make good on that commitment we made to the residents, so it’s disappointing.”

In a written statement Hartford’s Director of Development Service, Tom Deller said “This is not an either-or situation. Simply because we have a ballpark does not mean we will not have a supermarket in Downtown North.”

Deller says there will be a supermarket and the city has received several inquiries since the announcement. He promises to pursue the options that provide the greatest benefits for the city.

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