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Hartford ballpark bond sale, groundbreaking set for today

New Britain Rock Cats ballpark, Hartford

Big day today for a new Hartford ballpark for the relocating New Britain Rock Cats (Class AA; Eastern League): financing via bond sale should be finalized, with a groundbreaking in the afternoon.

The bond sale should be of interest to those in the baseball community, because making this bond sale work under the auspices of a city stadium authority is ultimately what saved this project. The team and its consultants worked with the city on a few funding-mechanism iterations and ended up with one that both sides could live with, albeit one that’s engendered some criticism for a lack of citizen input. But with the city clearly interested in upgrading sports facilities as part of an economic-development plan (proposals for upgrading XL Center are also on the city’s agenda as well), it’s important to note the specifics of the bond sale, per CTNow:

The upshot will be that Hartford can finance the double-A baseball stadium, aimed at $56 million, for less than it would have had to pay under the earlier financing method — a lease with the developer, DoNo Hartford LLC.

How much less? Almost $1 million a year or maybe even more if all goes well, but it’s impossible to know exactly. In any case, the savings promises to be significant as the newly created Hartford Stadium Authority issues bonds it will pay back over 26 years.

There is also another benefit to an authority issuing bonds and not the city: the authority bonds now carry an A-plus rating — better than the city’s current credit rating.

RELATED STORIES: Hartford ballpark construction begins; Hartford ballpark groundbreaking set for February; Hartford overhauls ballpark financing plan; Hartford approves Rock Cats ballpark project; Hartford planning board opposes new Rock Cats ballpark; New Hartford ballpark could cost more under private developer; City settles on Hartford ballpark developer; council to discuss; Solomon: Rock Cats still committed to Hartford move; Rock Cats avoid eviction, pay property taxes; Two ballpark development projects make the cut in Hartford; Four Hartford ballpark developments submitted; New Britain plays hardball with Rock Cats over unpaid property taxes; Hartford pulls public bonding for new Rock Cats ballpark; Backlash emerging against new Hartford ballpark; Hartford: New ballpark already attracting development; Why are Rock Cats moving to Hartford? Follow the money; Hartford ballpark plan: 10,000 capacity, $60M price tag; Rock Cats negotiating move to Hartford: report

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