HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra announced Thursday that ‘Requests for Proposals’ for that new baseball stadium will be issued next week.
But a prominent Hartford State Senator says the stadium is a bad deal for tax payers and he’s campaigning hard against it.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that Mayor Segarra’s baseball stadium has become a major political football in the city.
The proposed, 60 million dollar stadium for the Rock Cats minor league team on the edge of the city’s North End is anything but a sure bet.
Sen. Eric Coleman (D-Hartford) says, “if you stop any resident in this neighborhood or the North End in total, they would probably tell you that a grocery store is probably more needed than a baseball stadium.”
Coleman has represented this part of the city in the legislature for thirty years and says the news that a privately funded supermarket developer has pulled out of the city because he didn’t want to be next to a stadium has made the opposition even stronger.
Coleman also notes that City Council President Shawn Wooden and the Mayor said nothing about private funding for the baseball stadium at their big news conference back on June 4th. Nothing was said until after people started complaining about the cost to taxpayers.
“If you contemplated private financing, you would have mentioned it on that date at that time but all that was mentioned was 60 million dollars in bonding.”
Mayor Pedro Segarra (D-Hartford) said Thursday, “my original resolution to council indicated that we were willing to perhaps maybe consider the bonding of up to 60 million dollars to finance the stadium as well as considering other financing options.”
The Mayor also announced that a ‘Request for Proposals’ for a the new stadium will be issued next week.
“That will seek to maximize and take advantage of any public partnerships that can be made available to the city of Hartford in order to decrease and perhaps, maybe totally eradicate any burden to our taxpayers,” said the Mayor.
The Mayor also says he doesn’t want to ‘politicize the stadium deal’ but that’s already happened.
Coleman is in a tough primary race in August against City Council President Wooden.
Many are saying that primary election will actually be a referendum on the stadium deal.