Concern over construction costs for Hartford's new baseball stad - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Concern over construction costs for Hartford's new baseball stadium

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Cost overruns have forced changes at the new stadium for the Yard Goats in Hartford. (WFSB) Cost overruns have forced changes at the new stadium for the Yard Goats in Hartford. (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Construction on the new baseball stadium in Hartford is moving at a fast pace, but cost overruns are forcing some changes.

Developers have decided to scrap the over the right field grandstand at Dunkin Donuts Park to save money on the 6,000 seat ballpark. City officials said ditching the roof saves $305,000.

Officials said this decision will keep the stadium project within its budget.

Crews are racing to meet the construction deadline. The first game is expected to be played here on April 7.

Hartford's new baseball stadium is slated to cost $56 million, but costs are racking up as authorities try to stay within budget.

“I think of Fenway Park where I have gone to a lot of games - the right field and center field bleachers have no cover on them,” Michael Looney with Hartford Stadium Authority said. “And a lot of stadiums don't have this feature. It’s nothing out of the ordinary."

Looney, who is the director of the stadium project, said the city wanted to add more seats and had to sacrifice the roof.

Officials with the Yard Goats and developers have been meeting with the city every month to discuss what's going on and any issues.

The team left New Britain to play in Hartford. Just recently the Atlantic League committed to putting a new team in the former home of Rock Cats. The start of both teams seasons are roughly the same day.

“Moving 12 miles north has put us into a whole new category, so we have actually expanded our sales effort into northern Connecticut where we didn't typically draw people,” Yard Goats General Manager Tim Resthall said.

Some Hartford residents would said they would like a roof, but are more concerned about the stadium will end up really costing the city.

“Many, many citizens in Hartford thought this was going to cost a heck of a lot more and I think the main problem is that it’s a rushed process,” Anne Goshdigian, who is a Hartford resident, said. “In the beginning, it was pushed through very quickly. They have a date to meet.'

There are six more months until opening day for the Yard Goats.  The first pitch will be at 7:05 p.m.   

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