The deal to build baseball stadium in Hartford’s Downtown North neighborhood was initially seen as a home run for Connecticut’s beleaguered capital city, but there have been questions raised about the plan by the New Britain Rock Cats to move to Hartford. Some of those questions have come from the president of the city council, Democrat Shawn Wooden.
Wooden came in for a taping of Face the State that aired Sunday, along with former major league baseball player Doug Glanville, now an author, ESPN analyst and like me, raising a family in Hartford. Earlier this week Wooden said he wouldn’t support the deal if it didn’t include private investment, and I wanted to ask him about that.
Wooden said he is confident that investment will come, and talked about there being tremendous interest by developers in the long barren land surrounding the stadium site. Wooden also strongly believes plans can continue to build a supermarket in that neighborhood. “I don’t believe having a grocery store and a baseball stadium in the same neighborhood are mutually exclusive….ever since the announcement was made, the land around the proposed stadium has become more valuable.”
Glanville, like Wooden, believes the stadium can be an economic driver for the city, but during our discussion he focused on the qualitative aspects of the deal.
Glanville played five years of minor league baseball before heading to the big leagues with the Chicago Cubs and Philadephia Phillies, and knows from experience what life is like in a minor league baseball city, and he envisions great potential for a team in Hartford. “There is no question, it will open many doors for city children. I see great potential in the connections for engagement where you will be able to open up these doors of opportunity….Players may live in the neighborhood and walk to the stadium.”
Watch Wooden and Glanville right here: http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=10287209
The Hartford Business Journal’s Brad Kane, has done some in-depth reporting on the stadium deal and was also on Sunday’s show to talk about the economic impact. He also added some information about another grocery store project, not far from the stadium.
Watch Kane right here: http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=10287221
We should point out Wooden is a candidate for state senate, and a political commentator for CT Capitol Report.
Here’s our Face the State flashback: http://dennishouse.tv/2014/06/20/the-most-connecticut-u-s-president/