Insurance company to step in, build Yard Goats stadium - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Insurance company to step in, build Yard Goats stadium

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Hartford took action against the stadium developer for the Yard Goats on Thursday.

Developers have missed two deadlines and the Hartford Stadium Authority called in the insurance company.

The city was concerned that Centerplan, the developer, may not have the money or the resources to get the Dunkin Donuts Park finished this season.

The insurance company holds the bond and the city called the bond to make sure the rest of the work gets done.

The city blasted the developer and said they have not been upfront about delays and problems.

“Every single meeting, we raised the question are you on time? Are you on budget? We were assured on time and on budget,” Hartford Stadium Authority Chairman I. Charles Matthews said.

The insurance company could fire Centerplan, who is the developer, or hire a new company. Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin just wants to get the project done.

"They gave us a date they said they would hit, I wish they had hit it,” Bronin said. “I wish we were not in the situation but the bottom line is we have to hold our development partners accountable for meeting their obligations."

"It's critical that the city now be exposed to anymore financial liabilities,” Oz Griebel with the Hartford Stadium Authority said.

Every day the park remains unfinished, the fees continue to rack up for Centerplan and Do-No Hartford, LLC. After an initial $50,000 dollar fee for not completing the stadium in time, a $15,000 per day fee was added.

Some are now questioning whether the developer was qualified. A company that has never built a stadium. As of Thursday, the delays cost the developer $170,000 in fines, which they have not paid.

The owner for Yard Goats Josh Solomon said they were “extremely disappointed” that Centerplan did not deliver the stadium as “promised, confirmed and reconfirmed.”

Solomon said they stand by the decision of Bronin and the Hartford Stadium Authority

“We agree that calling the payment and performance bond is the only course of action available as the developer has shown no ability to meet the agreed upon schedules or effectively manage the project,” Solomon said in a statement on Thursday.

The general manager for the Yard Goats Tim Restall said he is disappointed like everyone else that the team has been playing at other stadiums.

“The Yard Goats have already lost 54% of their home season and are on the verge of losing the entire 2016 season,” Solomon said “This is causing great hardship not just for our team, but for our fans, sponsors and the hundreds of Hartford residents who were counting on jobs at the ballpark.”

Restall said they are losing money in ticket sales and concessions and that will continue until the ball park is finished.

"Our players which are major league affiliate of the Rockies are spending more time on the bus than playing baseball," Restall said.

The developer said there are reasons for the delays and is blaming the city for making a number of changes. 

Just after the city took action, the developer said they wanted to set the record straight.

Jason Rudnick said the city has been pointing fingers at them, but it's the city that shares some of the blame because they've made a number of construction changes.

"What's being expressed in the media is that it's Centerplan's fault - we haven't completed the stadium. But there is no mention of all the directional changes that we are getting almost on a daily basis. The facts have to come out. We have to be transparent with one another," Rudnick said.

There is a meeting on Tuesday between the city and the insurance company.

To see more photos from inside the stadium, click here.

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