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.
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