The president of the Eastern League said there will be no baseball in Hartford if the city's stadium isn't completed soon.

Eastern League President Joe McEacharn headed up the news conference at the embattled Dunkin' Donuts Park in Hartford.

They said the stadium has become a real money loser for the league and the team, and said they've lost ticket sales and have spent an entire season on the road.

McEacharn urged the team and owner Josh Solomon to take action now. However, no hard deadline was set.

"We cannot risk 2017 to be played on the road and we're not going to," he said. "If the stadium is not done, baseball will not be coming to Hartford."

Hartford Stadium Authority Chairman I. Charles Matthews and Hartford Yard Goats owner Josh Solomon were also on hand.

"The team is committed to playing baseball in Hartford," Solomon said. "We continue to work with the stadium authority and the city to get the stadium completed."

He also said the team's sponsors continue to support it.

Solomon said Arch Insurance should step up and complete the project, but at some point the team will need to take action.

He and McEacharn said if baseball can not be played at Dunkin' Donuts Park, the team will move on.

Earlier this week, the Yard Goats franchise said it was willing to lend the city money to complete the park.

Mayor Luke Bronin, however, said he wasn't ready to accept the offer. He said he wanted to give Arch a chance to make good on what he called an obligation to get the stadium finished.

On Thursday, he said "I would never turn down free money for the city of Hartford or the taxpayers of Hartford. What I have to do is protect the taxpayers of Hartford."

Mathews said Arch has been working with an architect over what exactly needs to be completed.

"Arch submitted a takeover agreement to the city," he said. "It appears no progress has been made. Is it fast enough? No. We emphasized to Arch that time is of the essence."

Matthews said Arch fully understands that. He also said if Arch can't complete its task, the city will have to go in a different direction.

The news conference comes on the same day that a civil suit case involving fired developer Centerplan and the City of Hartford heads back to court.

Hartford fired the park's developers earlier in the summer after it claimed Centerplan and DoNo LLC failed to meet construction deadlines for various reasons.

Centerplan, however, blamed the city for making last-minute changes to the park.

The Yard Goats on Tuesday announced the team's 2017 schedule, which includes games against affiliates of the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and New York Mets. Its home opener is set for April 13.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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