Yard Goats owner willing to lend money to finish ballpark - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Yard Goats owner willing to lend money to finish ballpark

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

The Hartford Yard Goats are willing to lend the city money to finish construction at Dunkin Donuts Park.

The ballpark has been sitting unfinished for months, and the team owner wants the park to be done so they can start playing there next April.

The team released their schedule for next year, which says they will have a home opener on April 13 in Hartford.

Just a few weeks ago the Yard Goats said they would pull out of Hartford without a guarantee there would be a 2017 season.

Now the team’s owner is pitching another plan…to loan the city the money it needs to finish the ballpark.

"Playing a whole season on the road is unprecedented with regards to our players, they are spending more time in a hotel room than in the field,” said Tim Restall, Yard Goats manager.

The city doesn’t really have any money for the stadium, and the bills for the park keep piling up.

There have been many extra costs for things like police and fire, security, repairs and maintenance, as well as costly attorneys.

The city is being sued by Centerplan, the developer they fired.

An independent audit set to be released later this week is expected to show the stadium is about $40 million over budget.

However, Mayor Luke Bronin is not quite ready to take the team’s owner up on his offer to finish the job.

He wants to give Arch Insurance, the company holding the surety bond, the chance to make good on what he calls their obligation to make sure the stadium gets finished.

"I appreciate his offer to loan the city money to finish the job, but in our best judgment the most important thing is to stay focused and finalize our agreement with Arch Insurance so the taxpayers don't have to pay for Centerplan's mistakes now or later,” Bronin said.

When asked how much money it would take to finish the stadium, Bronin said “we won't know exactly until the construction team is in there and they discover all the mistakes Centerplan made but it's clearly millions of dollars."

Sources told Eyewitness News that it is going to take more than $5 million to finish the ballpark, and it could still be another three or four months of construction.

On Thursday, the city and Centerplan will be back in court.

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