Officials say stadium for Hartford Yard Goats may not open on ti - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Officials say stadium for Hartford Yard Goats may not open on time

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Hartford officials said they believe that the stadium for the new minor league baseball team in the capital city will not be completed by its projected date.

Dunkin Donuts Stadium for the Hartford Yard Goats was expected to be completed on May 17 and the team was expected to play its first home game on May 31.

However, concerns were raised during a Hartford Stadium Authority meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

Officials said during the meeting that the stadium may be ready for May 31. But the team won't play ball because they need to "burn in" the stadium. 

Centerplan is the developer, and CEO Bob Landino said he is confident his crews can hit the target, but the city needs to rush the inspections that would give them the certificate of occupancy that would allow them to host games.

"We need help from the city inspectors, elevator inspectors all have to do their thing at the appropriate time for us to make the 17th," Landino said.

The May 17 date for substantial completion is very important to everyone involved, because the Yard Goats said they need at least two weeks after that completion to get their personnel trained and familiar with the stadium so its services work properly.

If substantial completion is done by the 17th, baseball should go off without a hitch on May 31, just as planned.

"When the city notifies us that they've met substantial completion, we then will be able to set our opening day," said Yard Goats Owner John Solomon, being asked how confident he was in the May 31 deadline.

"It's not a delay. If it's a delay, it's by a few days. In our business, that's typically not critical. We don't think it's a delay. We think our work will be done, it's just tight," Landino said.

A right-field fence at the ballpark was also expected to possible push back the stadium’s opening date of May 31. That delay wasn’t the first delay for the Yard Goats. The team was originally set to begin playing in Hartford on April 7, but it was pushed back.  

At the worst, officials said to expect another few days of delays, maybe up to a week. At best, it will be right on schedule.

In a statement on Tuesday night, Solomon said "We are hopeful that the ballpark can be delivered to the team by May 17. When the city communicates to us that substantial completion has been met, we will move our operation to the stadium and bring to our great fans, sponsors and the greater Hartford community the best of minor league baseball."

The team has the best record in the league right now at 18-5.

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    There are some potential delays for the Hartford Yard Goats stadium. A right-field fence at the ballpark could push back the stadium’s opening date back from May 31.

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    There are some potential delays for the Hartford Yard Goats stadium. A right-field fence at the ballpark could push back the stadium’s opening date back from May 31.

    More >