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Hartford Mayor: No Thanks to Solomon’s Financial Offer

Hartford Yard GoatsWell, that didn’t take long: a day after Hartford Yard Goats (Class AA; Eastern League) owner Josh Solomon offered to finance the remaining work on Dunkin’ Donuts Park, Mayor Luke Bronin rejected the offer, saying it was up to the city’s insurer to cover the costs.

That the Yard Goats, Minor League Baseball and even Major League Baseball wants to see this situation resolved is undeniable: the team issued a 2017 contract and has committed to playing at the unfinished Dunkin’ Donuts Park. But with no work done on the uncompleted ballpark for months and no apparent timetable to finishing the work — never mind addressing the 180-plus issues pertaining to the work that’s already completed — it makes sense that Solomon would want to get the ball rolling on finishing the work.

But financing the work means the city or the project insurer, Arch Insurance, would need to repay that money, and Bronin says accepting the loan would be a bad move for Hartford. From WNPR:

“We obviously appreciate Josh Solomon’s sense of urgency and we share it,” Bronin said. “We continue to believe that the best result for Hartford’s taxpayers is to get Arch Insurance to step up, take full control and full responsibility for the remaining financial costs.”

Meanwhile, the cost for the stadium and its related projects continues to add up. While former Mayor Pedro Segarra originally agreed to build a stadium for less than $60 million, Bronin now says that was a lowball figure that didn’t include things like roadwork improvements.

“This is a project that the prior administration began and, all told, the costs already outlaid are going to be approaching $100 million,” Bronin said. “Obviously, the developers went over budget and far behind schedule as far back as January. But the bulk of the costs that bring the stadium so high above what was told to the public are the fact that the prior administration simply agreed to pay, on the quiet, for all of these roadwork improvements that cost tens of millions of dollars.”

So now we wait. And wait.

RELATED STORIES: Yard Goats Release 2017 Sched; Solomon Offers to Pay for Ballpark Work; IFG: Over 180 Issues With Dunkin’ Donuts Park; Contractor: We Could Resume Hartford Ballpark in September; Work Set to Resume on New Hartford BallparkYard Goats Bring up Possibility of Leaving Hartford; Dunkin’ Donuts Park Will Not Open for 2016 SeasonFinally: Dunkin’ Donuts Park Spat Ends Up in CourtHartford, Team May Finish New Yard Goats Ballpark; Hartford Rejects Settlement Offer; Hartford Developer Pitches Ballpark Completion PlanFire Watch Unfolding at Dunkin’ Donuts ParkYard Goats Lay Off Four in Wake of Ballpark BreakdownNew Hartford Ballpark Now Insured; Hartford Ballpark Uninsurable After Developer Booted; Centerplan CEO: City Recklessly Terminated Contract; Yard Goats to Play Two Home Series in Binghamton;Tensions, Schedule Changes in Hartford; Hartford Stadium Authority Cancels Contract with Developer; When Will Hartford Ballpark Be Done? No One is Saying; Legal Issues Could Prevent Hartford Ballpark Opening This Season; New Deadline Targeted for Dunkin’ Donuts Park;Officials: New Hartford Ballpark Could Open Next Month;Hartford: We Doubt New Ballpark Will Open on Time; Dunkin’ Donuts Park Facing Potential Delay; New Hartford ballpark set for May 31 opening; Yard Goats to begin 2016 season on the road; Solomon: “Awful, depressing, disconcerting” ballpark situation; New Hartford ballpark opening delayed at least a month; New Hartford ballpark cost estimate: $10.3 million over budget; City: New Hartford ballpark may open late; Value engineering underway in Hartford

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