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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Lessons we can learn

A Tale Of Two Cities
by BETH COMERY in the Providence Daily Dose

Pity poor Hartford. Turns out their new minor league stadium is costing more than originally promised and the developer is demanding another $10 million. According to the Hartford Courant in “Before You Buy a Stadium, Ask How Much,”

We’re learning that despite the assurances that accompanied the chaotic 2014 announcement of the construction of the stadium and the transformation of the New Britain Rock Cats into the Hartford Yard Goats

$56 million in public funds is not nearly enough to build a proper stadium. All those smiling faces of the past year and half now sport nothing but frowns hovering above pointed fingers.

A 6,000-seat stadium costs closer to $66 million to build. No one mentioned this when the project was rammed through local boards a year and a half ago. 

The unfurling story features unhappy and contradictory chapters. The developer/builder says it warned the stadium authority created to oversee the project that if design changes were not made, $56 million would not be enough.

There is the very real possibility that the stadium will not be finished in time for the start of the season, causing great anxiety in the league home office.

It is good to remember that we must remain vigilant concerning potential PawSox stadium deals. So far, the efforts of our local opposition forces have managed to get the riverfront parcels off the table while pressuring state leadership to nix the idiotic PawSox proposal. But the PawSox ownership may be back with a new offer and a request for tax waivers and whatever.

‘Stop the Stadium: A Bad Deal for Hartford’ website indicates that there had been a significant opposition to the Hartford stadium back when it was being “rammed through local boards.” 

What went wrong for them that went right for us? I would hazard a guess that it was the wild overreach involving so many disparate parties that did in the PawSox. They pissed off way too many people and institutions, mobilizing many fantastically persuasive and dedicated organizers, speakers, writers, and notaries . . . don’t forget the notaries. 

And the Pawsox ownership greatly overestimated their “charisma.” My god what a repulsive cohort that is. Plus we had the 38 Studios debacle constantly in the news. 

Whatever it was, I sure know how I would be feeling right now had I been one of those opponents in Hartford, and I never walk past the downtown riverfront without breathing a sigh of relief.

Follow No New Stadium for Providence on Facebook and keep up with any new developments. It’s not over.