Letter: State Senator does not support XL Center renovation

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To the Editor:

Constituents from around the 16th Senate District have expressed to me their displeasure with Gov. Dannel Malloy’s plan to borrow $250 million to renovate the XL Center in Hartford. They should be displeased.

No one serious about reducing state spending can support this proposal.  We can’t afford it, and it won’t work.  No major league sports team is coming to Hartford, a small market in the great scheme of things, torn between the great polarities of Boston and New York.  The big music shows go to the casinos anyway. UConn can play its home games at home, and the Wolf Pack would draw better in a smaller arena.

We’ve given that big downtown stadium more than 40 years to prove itself in Hartford, and it has failed.  New Haven faced facts and took theirs down, and that city survives, with a night life other Connecticut cities might envy.

By night, for what it costs, the XL Center is a flop, generating two spurts of traffic, in and out of a garage; by day it’s even worse, a dead zone in the middle of the city, four blocks right downtown where nothing happens all day long, almost every day.

I don’t know what the answer is for Hartford or for that piece of land, but I’d say it’s clear what doesn’t work, and a quarter billion dollars won’t change the facts—it would be good money after bad.

Sincerely,

State Sen. Joe Markley (R-16th district)

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