Hartford stadium construction could start soon, but Centerplan f - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hartford stadium construction could start soon, but Centerplan files motion to delay

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Yard Goats stadium  (WFSB) Yard Goats stadium (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

After months of bad news, it seems there is some good news for Hartford’s unfinished baseball stadium.

Whiting Turner, based in Baltimore, is ready to take over and finish the ballpark.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said construction will start soon, possibly next week.

"We felt it was so important to make a change - to say we are not going to keep funding a contractor that's making these mistakes,” Bronin said.

Arch Insurance, which holds the surety bond, has decided not to rehire Centerplan, the company the city fired.

Whiting Turner has experience building stadiums, including the home of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. The company also did some work on the Connecticut Science Center.

Hartford’s stadium has been a struggle from the start, with construction issues and cost overruns causing one delay after another, and the 2016 season at home never happened.

Centerplan filed a lawsuit against the city after they were fired.

The company filed a motion to delay that construction, asking a judge to preserve the site as it is, to preserve evidence for its lawsuit.

To read the motion, click here.

In a statement on Thursday, Centerplan said "The request of the court is simply for an order to take pictures of the sight not to stop construction. We want to preserve the evidence and pictures of the site as of today when they start work."

The cost of the stadium is now $20 million more than projected.

"This is the hand we were dealt - the mayor, myself and the council are new. This was not a project that we developed...but this is the hand we were dealt and we are doing the best we can,” said Hartford City Councilor John Gale.

The Eastern League had threatened to move the Yard Goats out of Hartford if the 6,000-seat stadium was not ready for next season.

"It's been going on for a while. I've been wondering what's going on,” said Jaquan Gray, of Hartford.

"That’s interesting. I hope they finish it on time this time. But we will have to wait and find out,” said Mike Ray, of Hartford.

In a statement, Mayor Bronin said "This latest lawsuit from Centerplan has no legal basis and is a non-issue. We look forward to working with the new contractor, Whiting-Turner -- a responsible company with a great reputation and extensive experience building stadiums."

The new company has not yet returned calls made by Eyewitness News. Centerplan told Eyewitness News they have no comment.

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