A new deadline looks to be set for the completion of Dunkin’ Donuts Park, as officials are targeting June 7 as the new occupancy date. Should that milestone be achieved, the Hartford Yard Goats (Class AA; Eastern League) could debut at the ballpark in late June.
A May 17 email exchange between Hartford mayor Luke Bronin and DoNo LLC principal Jason Rudnick reflects this goal, which is the latest development since the original deadline of May 17 was missed. That deadline was intended to give Yard Goats’ management at least two weeks to prepare for the previously-scheduled opener of May 31.
Right now, DoNo LLC is facing a per-day fine of $15,000 for missing the original deadline, a price that is on top of the initial $50,000 the developer paid to the city for the first day that the ballpark was incomplete. The goal now is to receive at least a temporary certificate of occupancy (TCO) to allow the Yard Goats to finally establish operations at Dunkin’ Donuts Park. More from the Hartford Courant:
“TCO is to be achieved on or before May 31 and Substantial Completion is to be achieved on or before June 7,” Rudnick wrote in the email.
The developer would need both the TCO from the city and the letter of substantial completion from the Kansas City-based architect, Jonathan O’Neil Cole of Pendulum Studio, for the team to move into the $63 million minor league ballpark just north of downtown.
Rudnick went on to write that the developer would be “working diligently to beat these deadlines” and that he looked forward to meeting with Bronin to review “what this extension means to the city.”
A few hours after receiving the email from Rudnick, Bronin said publicly that the developer would not meet the deadline for substantial completion, scuttling the team’s planned home opener of May 31.
Under the new plan, Dunkin’ Donuts Park could open on June 21, when the Yard Goats are scheduled to face the Richmond Flying Squirrels. Last week the Eastern League made more adjustments to the Yard Goats’ home schedule, relocating two home series to Norwich’s Dodd Stadium and a June 14-16 slate to Reading’s FirstEnergy Stadium.
Image of Dunkin’ Donuts Park from May 2 courtesy Hartford Yard Goats.