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HISTORIC GROUND BREAKING OCCURS FOR HARTFORD’S NEW MINOR LEAGUE BALLPARK

Ballpark to Anchor Redevelopment of  A New, Mixed-Use Neighborhood known as Downtown North

(February 17, 2015) Today Hartford Mayor E. Pedro Segarra, Hartford City Council President Shawn T. Wooden, City Council members and Rock Cats Owner Josh Solomon joined hundreds of community members for the historic groundbreaking of what will be Hartford’s first ever minor league Ballpark.  Located at the intersection of Trumbull and Main Streets, the new Ballpark will anchor the redevelopment of the Downtown North neighborhood and will be home to minor league baseball beginning in the spring of 2016. This is the first time in over 60 years the City of Hartford will have a professional baseball team. With 72 home games, it is estimated that over 400,000 guests will visit the park each season.

“This is a truly historic day for the City of Hartford. What was once a sea of parking lots for over 40 years will soon be transformed into a thriving new neighborhood that will bring more housing, more jobs, more customers for our businesses and more economic opportunity to our great city,” stated Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra. 

“Many people were involved with this project, but I especially want to thank Council President Shawn Wooden, the Council, our Treasurer, and the hardworking people of Hartford for all their support,” added Mayor Segarra.  “We should feel proud of what we have accomplished. We are connecting two neighborhoods long separated by a highway, and revitalizing an area that has been underserved. I am more optimistic about our future and our progress than ever.”

Today’s groundbreaking is the result of countless hours of hard work and input from the City Council, members of the Stadium Authority and, most importantly, the Hartford community,” stated Hartford City Council President Shawn Wooden.  “Thanks to community input and the true collaborative effort over the past eight months, plans for the new Ballpark and the redevelopment of the entire Downtown North neighborhood are better today than when the initial plans were presented.”

Last week the City reached a final agreement with DoNo Hartford, LLC, the developer of Downtown North and Connecticut Double Play, LLC, the owner of the Rock Cats Double AA Minor League baseball team. The new mixed-use neighborhood will include a supermarket of up to 50,000 square feet, a brewery, new housing, retail, restaurants, and the minor league ballpark.

“Thanks to everyone’s hard work, the redevelopment of Downtown North and the new minor league ballpark will soon be a reality,” stated Rock Cats Owner Josh Solomon.  “We’re looking forward to baseball weather and providing affordable, family entertainment during baseball season and year round activities for the entire Hartford community and the region.”

Terms of the agreement include 30 percent revenue sharing for all non-baseball events at the ballpark, a project labor agreement, a guarantee of a Double AA Minor League team for the term of the lease, and hiring preference for Hartford residents and minority/women owned businesses for all direct and indirect contract work.

A report by the University of Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis (CCEA), found that the projected benefits of developing Downtown North includes over 1,800 jobs during construction, sustained employment in excess of over 1,000 jobs at full development.

Fans are also invited to participate in the “Name The Team Contest” which began today on the newly created website www.hartfordplaysball2016.com. Fans can suggest a new name that will replace the Rock Cats and are encouraged to submit their suggested name, which must include “Hartford,” along with a brief explanation of their entry. 

The fan whose submission leads to the team’s new name will receive the Ultimate VIP Baseball Package (Two Lifetime Season Tickets, Team Jacket & Cap, photo in the Game Program).  Four runners up will receive a pair of season tickets for the inaugural season.  

GroundBreaking DoNo 

HARTFORD CITY HALL ADDRESS: 550 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103 PHONE: (860)757-9311 HOURS: 8AM - 5PM