Hartford finally set to open Yard Goats stadium, start losing $2m+ a year running it

Hartford Yard Goats opening day is just two weeks away, and Hartford is finally getting ready to welcome its new Double-A baseball team, just one year late after various catastophic construction screwups, and finally getting ready to have money rolling in instead of just going out. Right? Okay, maybe not:

Financial estimates show that professional baseball is a costly investment for Hartford and initial promises of new development surrounding the $71 million stadium have failed to materialize.

Projections show Hartford is expected to operate at a net loss on the downtown north development during the first and second year the stadium is open. The city will lose about $2 million this year and $3.5 million next year.

Uhh, okay, that’s new. And worse yet, the losses aren’t limited to the first two years — those are just the only years that the city has calculated so far, meaning losses could continue indefinitely.

The reason for running at a loss is that construction costs were supposed to be paid for with tax revenue from new development around the stadium, and instead nobody’s been building nothing except for some hotel-room conversions. So this is the same $63 million (plus free land) subsidy we’ve been talking about for more than a year, only counted out one year at a time instead of as a lump sum.

At least the stadium will be open, and Hartford residents will get to drown their sorrows in quality two-levels-below-the-majors baseball without driving 15 whole minutes to New Britain like the used to. I know it’s not much, but take your silver linings where you can get them, you know?


5 comments on “Hartford finally set to open Yard Goats stadium, start losing $2m+ a year running it

  1. “At least the stadium will be open, and Hartford residents will get to drown their sorrows in quality two-levels-below-the-majors baseball without driving 15 whole minutes to New Britain like the used to.”

    But really…who can put a price on *that*?

  2. Any idea why losses the second year would go up that much? $2 million to $3.5 million is a huge increase. And since most of these stadium deals use pie-in-sky numbers that are unrealistically rosy who knows how much they’ll truly lose.

  3. A minor league team loses money and the MLB wonders why baseball has the youth in urban areas are skateboarding from the sport. I forecast that we will see the professionalized youth sports bubble implode in the nest 25 years.

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