Who will pay for Rock Cats move to Hartford?

New Britain Rock Cats' Tommy Watkins autographs a ball for fans at Opening Day for the AA Eastern League baseball team in New Britain, Conn., Thursday, April 14, 2005. The Rock Cats lost to the Harrisburg Senators 4-0. (AP Photo/Bob Child)

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The plan is to have the Rock Cats opening day game in April of 2016 held in a brand new, $60 million, 9,000-seat stadium on the northside of the city’s downtown.

But roadblocks are already appearing.

“Our city taxpayers should not bear the burden of $60 million in bonding,” said City Council President Shawn Wooden.

Wooden joined other city and state leaders that represent the city’s northside to say they still support the concept but not the potential bill.

“The financing of that would have to include private financing because it can’t get done on the back of our taxpayers,” Wooden said.

Just two weeks ago, Wooden joined Mayor Pedro Segarra in enthusiastically announcing the deal, saying the the City Council was unanimously in favor. Residents have been skeptical. Now, so are North End leaders.

“We’re looking at the dollars that they claim, the jobs that they claim are available, the dollars that they claim it will cost and coming up with a true representation of what it will actually cost the city taxpayers,” said City Council member Cynthia Jennings.

“We stand here united today to talk to our community and let our community understand that we hear those concerns and please be assured that we will be stewards of the public trust,” City Treasurer Adam Cloud added.

“We don’t want to burden our communities with a debt that their children will have to pay off,” said state Rep. Doug McCrory.

Mayor Segarra issued a statement saying, “I applaud and agree with the statements made by the council president, other council members, the Treasurer and other city leaders. I look forward to working together to make the project a reality.”

If you’re a Hartford resident concerned about this deal, mark your calendar for the night of July 21, when the City Council will hold a full public hearing on the Rock Cats deal.

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