Fiscal expert: Patriots, Hartford winning team

August 31, 1993|By The Hartford Courant

HARTFORD, Conn. -- The New England Patriots could generate enough revenue in Connecticut to justify the state's spending $252 million on a 70,000-seat stadium to attract the NFL team to Hartford, an economic consultant concluded yesterday.

An 88-page report by KPMG Peat Marwick found that metropolitan Hartford compares favorably in population and household income to cities that are home to some of the NFL's most successful franchises.

The region within 25 miles of the stadium site -- the primary market for most NFL teams -- would rank Hartford eighth in population and fourth in average household income among 10 teams with the best attendance records.

"Our major findings came as a surprise to me," said Timothy G. Mueller, who directs sports industry consulting for Peat Marwick.

The report immediately became Exhibit A in the Weicker administration's case to the legislature for a state-financed stadium, which had been long on rhetoric and short on financial specifics.

"With respect to the question of whether the Connecticut demographics have the potential to support an NFL team, the answer is a resounding yes," said William J. Cibes Jr., the state budget chief.

Cibes said the report also leaves no doubt that "the stadium makes sense financially to the state."

But key legislators reacted cautiously, saying they needed time to digest the voluminous report.

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