The mayor of Hartford, Connecticut wants to spend $60 million building a stadium to lure the New Britain Rock Cats to his city. That would be the minor-league baseball New Britain Rock Cats of the Double-A Eastern League. Mayor Pedro Segarra said that the stadium, which will cost the city $4.3 million a year in debt payments while the Rock Cats pay $500,000 a year in rent, will provide “an infusion of jobs and opportunities” for north Hartford, while preventing “the Rock Cats from leaving the state of Connecticut.”
We will now pause to allow you time to laugh, boggle, or sob incoherently at the state of humanity.
Nobody quite understands where this came from: The Rock Cats have had good attendance numbers and play in a stadium that is only 18 years old. There have been rumors that the team owners were talking about moving the Springfield, Massachusetts, but those have only emerged since the Hartford news was announced, so it’s impossible to say whether they’re real or a pretext. And in any case, New Britain officials don’t appear to have been given a chance to negotiate to keep the team in town; as recently as two days ago, the mayor of New Britain tweeted: “SPOILER ALERT: The Rock Cats aren’t leaving New Britain.”
So: $60 million for a stadium to lure a Double-A team from southwest Hartford County to central Hartford County, a distance of about ten miles. Happy Thursday.