Officials in Hartford came together Tuesday afternoon to break ground on the city's Downtown North development, which will include a minor league baseball stadium to host the Rock Cats.
It's the first time in more than 60 years that professional baseball will be played in the capital city.
The stadium is slated to open in April 2016 between Interstates 84 and 91 for the start of the minor league season. It will host 72 home games and an estimated 400,000 fans each season, according to a news release from the office of Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.
“This is a truly historic day for the City of Hartford. What was once a sea of parking lots for over 40 years will soon be transformed into a thriving new neighborhood that will bring more housing, more jobs, more customers for our businesses and more economic opportunity to our great city,” Segarra said in a statement after the groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday.
Hartford reached a final agreement last week with developer DoNo Hartford LLC and Rock Cats owner Connecticut Double Play LLC.
Downtown North is expected to create more than 1,800 jobs during the construction phase and 1,000 permanent job once the development is complete, according to the mayor's office.