Every financial analysis needs a base case to serve as the point of comparison.
Sometimes the base case isn’t the status quo. In the Downtown North situation there seems to be broad consensus that the area in question should be developed. Therefore, it’s important to compare Hartford’s costs for the current stadium-centric proposals to Hartford’s costs in a generic project. The cost to the City of doing nothing on the site shouldn’t factor into the conversation.
Hopefully when the project’s financial details are presented to City Council, and released to the public, the City will break out the costs it would expect to incur in every Downtown North proposal. This will allow the focus to be on the costs that are unique to the specific proposal(s) under consideration.