Yard Goats stadium completion tentatively pushed back to mid-sum - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Yard Goats stadium completion tentatively pushed back to mid-summer

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Dunkin' Donuts Park. (WFSB photo) Dunkin' Donuts Park. (WFSB photo)

The Hartford Yard Goats won't be playing in their home stadium at least until mid-summer, according to the team's owner and stadium officials.

Owner Josh Solomon said Dunkin' Donuts Park in the downtown north section of the city has a laundry list of projects and construction that needs to be completed.

The completion time was tentatively pushed back to the last week in June or first week in July.

Stadium Authority Chair I. Charles Matthews said elevators, stairwells, some restrooms, concession areas and luxury boxes are not complete.

However, he said the stadium was 95 percent complete.

"I think we have a bit of work to do, obviously, and by bit, I mean quite a bit," Matthews said.

Since workers are expected to work throughout May and into June, Matthews said those are costs that were not anticipated. That means more money will have to be put toward the project. Matthews said it would not come from the city.

However, he pointed to layoffs and the current city budget woes.

Manager of DoNo Hartford Jason Rudnick said delays are because of late additions and changes to the blueprint that happened months ago, like a giant coffee cup that will emit steam after every home run.

"Sometimes you have issues where things are actually in place, and then people are asking for changes," Rudnick said.

Solomon and Matthews said the team is losing a lot of money on concessions, ticket sales and lodging for players.

Solomon said he was unhappy with the progress.

The Yard Goats are in the midst of playing "home" games at Dodd Stadium in Norwich during the month of May to give players a break from a strenuous road schedule, according to Eastern League officials.

"They've lost six straight since they went to Dodd. They want to be home, they want to be here, in their permanent ballpark," Solomon said.

The team is working to extend it's stay there, according to Solomon.

The Tigers, the team to which Dodd Stadium is home, is scheduled to start its season in late June.

In the next 48 hours, Solomon and Matthews said a "solid solution and plan" will be produced on how to proceed.

Solomon said there are about 400 people who applied for jobs at the stadium during a job fair. He said they are now waiting to work.

Since developers did not complete the stadium on time, the team is technically off the hook for a $2 million contribution to help cover the initial $10 million overrun. Solomon said the team might still decide to kick in that money anyway.

According to the development agreement, the city of Hartford can now start penalizing the developer, Centerplan, $50,000 for the first day and $15,000 each day until construction is complete.

Taxpayers won't know how much they'll need to shell out. The developer says not a dime, and the mayor is holding them to that.

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