HARTFORD,Conn. (WTNH)– Somehow through all the snow, the city of Hartford is planning a big groundbreaking for this afternoon. The Downtown North project will officially begin today.
The construction equipment is there, ready to get to work. That’s good because this new stadium is expected to be ready and open in just over a year from now. And today’s groundbreaking is not just for a ballpark, but for what they are calling and entire mixed use neighborhood, so apparently the hope is people will live there, work there, shop there and see baseball there.
News 8’s Kent Pierce spoke to the folks at Thomas Hooker brewery Monday, and they are in negotiations to bring their operation there. They’ve outgrown their space in Bloomfield.
As for the stadium, it will have 6,000 seats and a bunch of luxury suites. The team currently known as the New Britain Rock Cats have signed a 25 year lease to play there. They’re now affiliated with the Colorado Rockies. Whatever they’ll be called will have Hartford in the name.
The stadium is expected to cost $350 million to build. Early on, the people of Hartford made it clear they did not want public funds used for that, so the city created a municipal authority that will borrow the money and pay the developer to build it. That way the city will own the stadium from the beginning.
The groundbreaking is scheduled for 1:30 this afternoon. The stadium is scheduled to open March 11 of next year.