Hundreds of people turned out for a public meeting in Hartford Wednesday night on the future of the Rock Cats.
Earlier this summer, the minor league baseball team announced plans to move from New Britain to Hartford for the 2016 season as long as Hartford builds a new stadium.
At the meeting, opponents blasted the city for its lack of transparency with negotiations and spoke out against potential tax increases.
Supporters praised the project.
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra outlined his vision to not only build a stadium just north of downtown, but to also bring in new housing, a supermarket, shops, and other development.
“We have this incredible opportunity,” said Segarra.
The city just issued a Request for Proposals seeking private developers for the area to help offset the cost of the $60 million stadium construction.
“It’s meant to expand the grand list so that the tax burden on our residents goes down, not the opposite,” said Segarra.
The city showed numbers from consultants that project the stadium could result in 903 construction jobs, 665 ongoing jobs, and 23,700 hotel rooms booked every year.
Residents left the meeting with plenty of questions still unanswered.
“I don’t see yet how we’re going to pay for it,” said Frank Lord of Hartford.
“Let the baseball spend their own money to build it,” said Patricia Nelson of Hartford.
Development proposals are due to the city by Aug. 1.
The Hartford City Council still has to approve the stadium project.