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New Hartford ballpark set for May 31 opening; funding arranged

Dunkin' Donuts Park, Jan. 18

Dunkin’ Donuts Park, new home of the Hartford Yard Goats (Class AA; Eastern League), is now set to open on May 31 after city, team and developer groups pitched in to address a $10.3-million funding shortfall.

The announcement from Mayor Luke Bronin provides a road map for the 2016 season for everyone involved. The Eastern League had already announced the team would play on the road through May 8. We’re pretty sure no one involved is happy about the team playing on the road through the end of May, but the agreement does ensure the ballpark will open on a scheduled date. Here are the details of the settlement, per the Hartford Courant:

Under the agreement, the developer, Centerplan Cos. affiliate DoNo Hartford LLC, would give up $2.3 million in fees. In addition, it would make additional annual tax payments of $225,000 on the entire Downtown North development, a mixed-use project that includes the stadium. The higher tax payments would extend over 25 years.

The Yard Goats would contribute $2 million and give up $500,000 that the city would have paid for designated team parking.

The city would initially shoulder $5.5 million from bonds issued by the Hartford Stadium Authority. But the additional tax payments from DoNo Hartford would reduce the city’s share of the costs to about $3.5 million. City council approval is still required because it had signed off on the original stadium development agreements.

It doesn’t sounds like city approval of the deal will be terribly challenging.

Image of Dunkin’ Donuts Park from Jan. 18 courtesy Hartford Yard Goats.

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