Hartford residents speak out against Rock Cats stadium Monday - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hartford residents speak out against Rock Cats stadium Monday

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While the proposed new Rock Cats stadium will keep the team from leaving the state, Hartford's City Council got an earful on Monday night from concerned residents.

Residents attended Monday night's meeting holding signs and standing in solidarity against the proposed 220,000-square-foot stadium, which will hold more than 10,000 spectators between seats, bleachers and a picnic area. It will be built at 1214 Main St. The stadium will be complete by April 1, 2016 with a grand opening on April 7, 2016. The team is also expected to sign a 25-year lease, and the stadium is expected to bring 600 full-time jobs.

The city will have to borrow money for the project, which could result in having $4 million in debt per year. But the city is hoping the $500,000 per year in rent and sales tax revenue will offset costs. However neighbors aren't convinced.

"This is a $60 million corporate welfare package and the promises that are being made to the residents of Hartford are total pie in the sky numbers. They're saying hundreds of jobs for us (but) it's a total myth," said Joshua Blanchfield of Hartford.

Other speakers said they wanted to see more money for schools and jobs in the city instead of for the proposed stadium.

"We have understood from the beginning that this project would require public discussion, participation and dialogue. Just like tonight there will be many opportunities to learn more about how this revitalization will be an asset to the community for years to come," Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said in a statement.

A public hearing on the matter has been scheduled for next month.

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