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Arena in East Hartford

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As some of you may know Rentschler Field Stadium in East Hartford is only the first part of a large development site which is to include shops, apartments, and entertainment venues. Obviously the development has slowed down significantly as the developers (Matos Group) have struggled to find businesses to set up shop on Pratt & Whitney's old airfield. The initial master plan for the site included an arena (as well as other sports facilities) likely to house Uconns mens and women's basketball teams.

 

So Why Not??

 

Certainly the Matos group would be willing to help with **nding, as it would be a major step forward for their struggling development. Not to mention East Hartford who has been looking to attract young professionals and businesses to the city.

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Because it will cost $10 million just to put a shovel into the ground. That's the main struggle with that area. It is so contaminated that no one really wants to touch it. The only reason Cabela's is there is they built on top of a landfill of torn down buildings, and didn't have to dig into the ground.

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I think we've already had this debate biggie (unless I'm thinking of someone else). On the State's most recent list of contaminated properties, Rentschler Field was listed as cleaned of contamination (obviously not the exact words, I can't remember how it was actually put and am too lazy to look it up at this time).

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Then why do they "need to raise the ground level on the town center site by about two feet"? Actually, Rentschler Field (football stadium) is no long on the list. But the area around the stadium is still on the list of contaminated areas in East Hartford (Haz Waste Land Disposal - Notifiers, and Inventory of Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites).

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The people of East Hartford would put the kibosh on any arena at Rentschler Field before a shovel was in the ground. As it is, they absolutely despise the few weeknight games UConn plays at home because of the traffic nightmares it causes, and the noise it causes when people are trying to go through their normal routines during the week. Adding 45 nights a year to that is not going to happen.

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Biggie1083 wrote :

> Then why do they "need to raise the ground level on the town center

> site by about two feet"? Actually, Rentschler Field (football stadium)

> is no long on the list. But the area around the stadium is still on the

> list of contaminated areas in East Hartford (Haz Waste Land Disposal -

> Notifiers, and Inventory of Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites).

 

 

Actually no. The only contamination listed on or around the site is leaking storage tanks, which makes it about as contaminated as any residential neighborhood. http://www.ct.gov/dep/lib/dep/site_clean_up/sites/sites_a-f.pdf

 

Mark, while I do agree with you, I think it would be limited to those who live around Rentschler. I can't imagine the people who live on the other side of 84 would really care that much. Not to mention the traffic and caused by an arena would only be a fraction of that caused by Uconn games every week. ( I don't see how much noise it can really cause since people won't be tailgating or anything.

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Fair enough, UC...I know a few people that are in the Rentschler neighborhood, and they absolutely cringe when they see UConn with any weeknight games (like Wed or Thu nights). While your point is fair about the traffic being about 1/2 of what it would be for a UConn game, you also have to consider one or two nights a fall compared with 45 nights spread out over 6-7 months.

 

Personally, I would love to see a new arena built on the Rentschler grounds...you could pave all of the dirt lots and use that for your parking lots, and so forth. It coud be very, very similar to what they have in Raleigh with NC State's football stadium and basketball arena on the same grounds. I just don't think the state has the money, and I don't think the people in the town of East Hartford (even though it only affects a small amount of the town's residents, all of the registered voters in town will have the chance to vote for or against such a project) would approve it.

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Good Point Mark. Regardless of the viability of an east hartford arena, one has to wonder whether Baldwin could use this option as leverage to gain more support from Hartford (both civic and private entities) to renovate the XL.

 

I also wonder if the state would be more willing to support an east hartford arena over a renovated XL Center (should enough private **nding become available), after all Rentschler Field is the state's project and I would *****ume they would like to see it succeed past just the stadium and Cabela's.

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I know the guys at Pratt wouldn't like it. My dad works there, and they hate game days, because some people just park wherever they want. They also leave crap all over the place.

 

That whole area is contaminated. I don't care what the pdf says. Go there and tell me that pond out by the tree line isn't contaminated. There is no gr***** around it, the water is black, it looks like oil, and smells of **el. On some nights there is a green fog floating above the ground. Pratt has been using the field as a **el dump since before my great grandfather started working there in the 40's.

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I would support an arena in East Hartford if the State decided to go that route, but ultimately a new arena in downtown Hartford would be my first choice. It would help the businesses downtown immensely.

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Biggie1083 wrote :

> I know the guys at Pratt wouldn't like it. My dad works there, and they

> hate game days, because some people just park wherever they want. They also

> leave crap all over the place.

>

> That whole area is contaminated. I don't care what the pdf says. Go there

> and tell me that pond out by the tree line isn't contaminated. There is no

> gr***** around it, the water is black, it looks like oil, and smells of **el.

> On some nights there is a green fog floating above the ground. Pratt has

> been using the field as a **el dump since before my great grandfather

> started working there in the 40's.

 

Oh dude I'm sure it is contaminated, my point is just that its not to the point where as you stated "it would cost $10 million just to put a shovel in the ground". Let's be honest the state had little to no issues building the stadium on the site, I doubt they would have any putting an arena there (as far as contamination is concerned).

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The didn't have issues when they built it, but they did after it was done. They were supposed to dispose of the dirt that they took out for the stadium, but someone used it at the schools in Enfield. It cost us an additional $2 million dollars to redo our fields at the high schools. If they were to build an arena there, just the disposal of the dirt remove from the area would cost $10 million. My statement was exaggerated, but that's basically what the development group has said.

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I don't think the arena would go there for the reasons already discussed. Truth is, I don't think the state has any money for a new arena anywhere.

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Tackla- You do realize they've continued with the development, while it hasn't progressed as quickly as planned (due to the recession) in no way it is a "total failure". They've recently cleared out woods for the **ture construction and are currently working on the sewer/drainage system for the site.

 

Mark- I agree, my thought has just been this: The XL Center renovations didn't fly with the state and Baldwin's running out of time (so it seems). Unless there is progress going on behind the scenes, I think the smartest move (for baldwin or anyone hoping to get this done) would be to look at other options. And What better option is there then Rentschler.

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UC, one thing we all have to remember is that any renovations of the XL Center wouldn't happen until after the city regains control, which isn't until the summer of 2013. So as far as that goes, there is still plenty of time...the question is...does Baldwin have the same amount of time. Nobody knows the answer to that.

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UC, Rentschler isn't an option. They would need at least $400 million just to build an arena. He couldn't even get $100 million to renovate the XL Center.

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Mark- I should have worded it better "Baldwin seems to be running out of time". But that aside, if Baldwin does leave would whoever takes his place or MSG continue his push for renovations? Frankly, I think if Baldwin leaves, we can kiss any hopes of a renovated XL goodbye. Hope**lly thats not the case.

 

Biggie- Thats where the Matos Group comes in. I can't say for sure, but one must *****ume that with a project this large, potential investors had to be lined up back in the late 90's or so. Since the group will continue to develop the site, i think its safe to *****ume most, if not all, of those investors are still on board. That being said, what sounds more difficult?

-Baldwin and Aetna attempting to get the state to give them $100 million to renovate an outdated arena for a minor league team that has had less then stellar attendance, with only a glimmer of hope that a major league tenant will move in (*****uming the NHL lowers its minimum capacity requirements)

or

-Baldwin, Aetna, UTC, Matos and their investors attempting to get the state to give them less then $400 million (can't predict how much but they certainly wouldn't ask the state to **lly **nd it) to build a new state of the art arena, on a site that the state has wanted to develop for over a decade. Not to mention the site is supposed to also include apartments and shops, which would help with landing more tenants.

 

To be clear, I'm not in favor of a Rentschler Field stadium over the XL renovations. But I don't think its fair to say Rentschler isn't an option.

 

Here's a 2012 article on the state of Matos and Rentschler Field: http://articles.courant.com/2012-02-13/community/hc-east-hartford-rentschler-update-0214-20120213_1_town-center-retail-space-daniel-matos

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By the Way Friday night I went to Cabellas and almost froze to death trying to get into the store. The wind at Rentschiller was whipping again and even on April 27th I could barely stand it for more than a few minutes. That Whale Bowl Weather for that area is always going to be there. Even now it was amazingly strong cold winds.

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