Hartford officials say they have dropped a $60 million public financing plan for a minor league baseball stadium and will seek private investment instead, following criticism by city residents about the cost to taxpayers.
Mayor Pedro Segarra announced the change Friday. He said the planned move of the New Britain Rock Cats to Hartford in 2016 has sparked interest in redevelopment around the stadium site and $60 million in bonding is no longer needed.
Segarra released the following statement Wednesday:
“Our goal has always been the successful redevelopment of the entire Downtown North area. What was needed was a spark, a catalyst to drive further interest and development and we believed the ballpark would be that spark.
“We are committed to pay for the costs associated with the ballpark construction with private investment andrevenues generated by the redevelopment of the entire Downtown North area. This approach is consistent with feedback from the community, City Council and other stakeholders. To do this we have to revise the current resolution. A new resolution will be submitted by August 11th and a public hearingwill take place shortly after. We believe this will protect the interests of the community and allow us to continue the momentum to move Hartford forward.”
City officials didn't elaborate on the planned public-private stadium partnership. Segarra says the city is seeking proposals from property developers and construction managers for the partnership, and he expects revenue generated by the redevelopment to help pay for the stadium.
Rock Cats officials have agreed to sign a 25-year lease if the city builds a stadium.