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When Will Hartford Ballpark Be Done? No One is Saying

Dunkin' Donuts Park

A closed-door meeting between Hartford city officials and Dunkin’ Donuts Park developer Jason Rudnick yielded some kind words from the two sides — but no indication as when the home of the Hartford Yard Goats (Class AA; Eastern League) would be completed.

Rudnick, president of Centerplan and principal with DoNo Hartford LLC, met with city officials for two hours and reported that the ballpark is now 95 percent completed, with most of the remaining work focused on smaller chores, like final installation of an elevator and finishes like painting, tiling and carpeting. But despite the meeting, no one was talking about an opening date or who was covering ballpark cost overruns. From the Hartford Courant:

“We want the stadium to open as quickly as possible,” Bronin said. No new completion date has been set, he said.

Both Bronin and Rudnick, in separate interviews, declined to provide further details on what was discussed Tuesday and did not respond to questions about whether there is enough money left to finish the project without the city paying more….

In calling the $47 million performance bond, Bronin claimed that the developers had defaulted on their design build agreement with the city, and cited multiple missed deadlines for milestones toward completion.

Indeed: the party with the most to lose in this mess, Yard Goats owner Josh Solomon, didn’t seem to be a factor in these discussions There’s a lot of noise from Bronin and Rudnick about wanting the ballpark to open as soon as possible, but if indeed the facility was 95 percent completed, it should be easy to estimate a date needed to procure a certificate of occupancy before an opening date. Both sides have already let a promised $2 million from Solomon to assure a May ballpark opening slip away, and with further delays the Yard Goats are down to a precious few months of potential home dates for the 2016 season. Indeed, no one seems eager to predict a 2016 opening at all.

Image of Dunkin’ Donuts Park from May 2 courtesy Hartford Yard Goats.

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