Following a tour of Dunkin’ Donuts Park, local officials feel that the Hartford Yard Goats (Class AA; Eastern League) are at least a month away from moving into the ballpark.
Hartford Stadium Authority chairman I. Charles Matthews was among those who toured the ballpark this morning, one day after it was confirmed that Dunkin’ Donuts Park is not ready for occupancy. That effectively scrapped plans for a May 31 opener, and the Yard Goats will likely wait at least another month before moving in. As the Hartford Courant reports, there is still a substantial amount of work to complete before Dunkin’ Donuts Park can open:
City officials visited almost every area of the ballpark, while Hartford Yard Goats owner Josh Solomon pointed out amenities and showed off views from different vantage points.
But Solomon also focused on areas of the ballpark still not completed, including an elevator behind home plate, a bar in centerfield, and other areas he felt needed to be finished before the team can move in.
Amidst the question of when the Yard Goats can finally occupy their new ballpark, several other developments are unfolding. The missed May 17 deadline allowed the city to fine the developer—DoNo Hartford LLC—$50,000 for the first day the ballpark was incomplete, followed by an additional $15,000 per day until the ballpark can be occupied.
The status of the Yard Goats home games, meanwhile, remains in question. After playing on the road for the season’s first month, the team had three home series moved to Norwich’s Dodd Stadium, home of the Connecticut Tigers. While it remains to be seen if the Yard Goats’ stay at Dodd Stadium can be extended, it seems to be the most likely solution in the short run, as the Tigers do not begin their season until June 22.
Image of Dunkin’ Donuts Park from May 2 courtesy Hartford Yard Goats.