There has been talk this week of the failed New England Patriots to Hartford deal of 1998-9. Before that, there was talk of bringing the Los Angeles Rams to Connecticut’s capital city.
This week in our Face the State Flashback, we’ll take you back to 1994, when The L.A. Rams were looking for a new home, and Hartford was very much in the running, along with St. Louis and Baltimore. St. Louis was the winner.
The talks with the Rams were serious, according to then Governor Lowell Weicker, who told the team a stadium would be built just north of I-84 in Hartford.
How serious? NFL great Walter Payton flew to Hartford to meet with Weicker about it, wowing everybody when he walked through the State Capitol. Sweetness would have been a part owner of the team along with legendary actor Paul Newman of Westport, who wanted the NFL in his home state.
Before you laugh, keep in mind Hartford is the biggest television market in the country without a major league sports team. The metro Hartford area has a desirable base of potential affluent fans, that made it attractive to team owners. Remember how quickly Patriots season tickets sold when that move was announced?
You can watch the entire flashback this Sunday morning at 11AM on Face the State, only on Channel 3. Fascinating stuff.