Citing a clause in their contract, Hartford Yard Goats (Class AA; Eastern League) owner Josh Solomon says they may leave the city if their new ballpark is not ready for 2017.
Delays to Dunkin’ Donuts Park have continued over recent months, and the Eastern League took the initiative last week to schedule all remaining Yard Goats’ home games on the road. Meanwhile, a terminated contract and subsequent legal dispute between the City of Hartford and developers Centerplan Cos. and DoNo, LLC has prevented work from continuing on the ballpark.
Certainly this has caused some frustration for Solomon and the Yard Goats, which was expressed in a recent email to the city. If not taken as an actual threat to move the team, the message from Solomon could mainly be seen as a reminder of the project’s urgency. Regardless, it is getting some play in Hartford. More from WNPR.org:
According to an email from the city’s top lawyer, Solomon informed him Monday that Hartford’s inability to complete the more than $60 million Dunkin’ Donuts Park is a breach of their development agreement and that sets the clock ticking.
That development agreement says that the city has six months to fix the problem. If it can’t, Solomon has the right to terminate his contract with the city, pack up his team, and go.
In an interview, an exasperated Solomon reiterated that he very much wants to stay in Hartford. But he can’t play his 2017 home games on the road.
“We need a home ballpark to play in,” said Solomon, who noted that he has obligations to major league baseball, minor league baseball, and the Colorado Rockies. “We missed all of 2016 and played on the road. We lost millions of dollars. We need a home ballpark to play in in 2017. I’m committed to the city of Hartford. I’m committed to our fans. I’m committed to our sponsors and I’m going to do everything in my power to ensure that we do.”
Solomon has previously stated his desire to continue the Yard Goats’ commitment to Hartford, so it would probably take a great deal of inaction on the ballpark for the team to move on. With that clause in place, however, it adds to the importance of completing the Dunkin’ Donuts Park in time for the 2017 season.
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