Senate GOP Leader: State Should Not Bail Out Hartford Yard Goats Stadium

January 7, 2016

Hartford Courant

The state should not bail out the now-delayed and over-budget stadium for the Hartford Yard Goats, says Senate Republican leader Len Fasano.

Fasano is calling on fellow state leaders to avoid using any state funds for the $56 million project, which officials now say will not be completed for the long-planned opening game of April 7 in a battle against a team known as the Richmond Flying Squirrels.

“The problems Hartford is facing regarding their stadium are serious, but in no way, shape or form should they resort to a state bailout,” Fasano said Wednesday. “I sincerely hope Hartford can figure out a way to move forward with their stadium, which the city has already invested in enormously. But that solution cannot involve a dime of state taxpayer money.”

He added, “Our state is in no position to be subsidizing a massive stadium project. The state’s finances are in serious trouble. While one budget hole was temporarily plugged, the budget passed by state Democrats still leaves Connecticut facing a budget shortfall of at least $355 million in fiscal year 2017, which is only six months away.”

Fasano was referring to the latest budget deal that was passed in special session before Christmas to plug a hole for the current fiscal year that ends on June 30. But deficits are projected for the fiscal years in the future.

Fasano also asked for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to block the use of any state funds for the controversial project.

“When plans for the DoNo Hartford stadium were first proposed, the governor made it clear that this was not a state project,” Fasano said. “I hope he remains true to his word. Taxpayers should not have to shoulder another statewide burden.”

Fasano released various statements by Malloy on the stadium, including one from June 6, 2014 in which Malloy said, “I have made it very clear and continue to make it clear that we are not participating in this project. … We’re not part of it.”

The governor’s office had no immediate reaction to Fasano’s statements.