Hartford baseball stadium a political football

(WTNH/Mark Davis)


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Along with the summer spike in crime, Hartford’s baseball stadium project has become a major issue in the upcoming primary election.  

There was a major milestone in the stadium project Tuesday. Construction workers have started putting up the steel beams that will support the grandstand for the $60 million stadium, just two days after the Rock Cats played their final game in New Britain.

“Now that the season is over, everyone is turning their attention to coming to Hartford and the excitement around it,” said Josh Solomon, the owner of the team.

But for Mayor Pedro Segarra, who faces a strong primary election challenge in just two weeks, this project is much more. The primary is, in part, a referendum on his leadership and he has been the absolute lead player on the stadium.

“You might recall that we didn’t have many people hopping at the opportunity to come here, but for the fact that we created what is meant to be a catalyst, a catalyst that has worked in other cities,” said Mayor Pedro Segarra, D-Hartford, at the construction site Tuesday.

Segarra notes that the city planning board is in the process of reviewing other projects for the area, but his challenger, former Malloy aid Luke Bronin, says the stadium project shows poor judgement. 

“Laying off dozens of teachers, at a time when we are 70 officers down at the police department, at a time when unemployment is through the roof; a lot of voters look at this and see an example of misplaced priorities,” he said.

Segarra says that campaign rhetoric is misleading Hartford residents.

“‘Capital dollars’ cannot be used to fund city departments. I want them to understand that in order to accelerate the growth of downtown-north, you needed an accelerator, and this is it,” Segarra said.

The primary election in Hartford, Bridgeport, and 21 other communities is Wednesday, September 16. That is unusual; municipal primaries are usually held on a Tuesday but the 15th is the Jewish holiday so the primary has been moved to Wednesday.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s