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City: New Hartford ballpark may open late

Dunkin Donuts Park

After developer Centerplan Cos. reportedly warned that Dunkin’ Donuts Park, new home of the Hartford Yard Goats (Class AA; Eastern League), may not open on time, the Hartford Stadium Authority wants explanations for the potential delay and a $10 million cost overrun.

We’ve known about cost overruns at the ballpark since September, but the amount has risen from $4 million to $10 million. Part of that is due to issues with the design of the right-field fences, and some surely arise from changes due to the compressed construction time. From the Hartford Courant:

In a Dec. 17 letter, the authority has asked the developer, Centerplan Cos. and its affiliate DoNo Hartford LLC to provide “written assurance by 1 p.m. on Dec. 23 as to the anticipated date of substantial completion, together with a detailed finance plan to show the funds available to meet that date.”

Authority chairman I. Charles Matthews, who signed the letter, issued a brief statement Monday afternoon providing a few more details.

“DoNo Hartford has informed us that the ballpark may not be ready until late spring and there is a $10 million shortfall,” according to the statement. “The Hartford Stadium Authority remains committed to working with toward the goal of successfully completing the ballpark, ready for baseball in 2016, at no additional cost to the City of Hartford.”

For their part, DoNo Hartford officials say they expect the project to be done on time for an April 7 opening, and that change orders deriving from owner-initiated changes will be submitted for review. So it will be interesting to see what is reported by the developer vs. what stadium authority officials are telling the press.

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