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Officials Optimistic on Dunkin’ Donuts Park Opening

Hartford Yard Goats

At a meeting on Tuesday, project officials expressed optimism that Dunkin’ Donuts Park will be completed by its scheduled April 13 opener. 

Ever since the Baltimore-based Whiting Turner took over the project last fall, the emphasis has been on completing the future home of the Hartford Yard Goats (Class AA; Eastern League) by this spring. A progress report in December indicated that that goal was achievable, and there was seemingly more good news delivered this week.

The 360-degree concourse is now completed, along with work on the roof, stairwells, and a leak on the right field concourse being finished. This gives Arch Insurance senior vice president Patrick Nails and Michael Spinelli, a principal of Cashin Spinelli & Ferretti LLC, a sense of optimism about the project’s completion, but both cautioned that there is plenty of work to be completed on a short schedule. More from The Hartford Courant:

Spinelli also told the authority that areas were discovered where expansion joints should have been installed and that work continues to make all the elevators operational, but added that he expected to have “very good news” at the next meeting in February.

Spinelli said that another concern — slippery conditions on the concourse when it gets wet — was also being addressed and that a coating that eliminates the slickness is expected to be applied in February.

However, Spinelli cautioned that “this is a schedule with zero float,” meaning that there is no room for unexpected setbacks that could derail the progress being made.

“If someone opens a wall and finds something no one knew about, it could be a problem,” he said.

Asked what the biggest concern was at this point, Nails replied, “time keeps both Mike and I up at night.”

The Yard Goats, who spent all of 2016 on the road as Dunkin’ Donuts Park was mired by delays, are slated to play seven games on the road at the beginning of the 2017 campaign. If the completion of Dunkin’ Donuts Park can be achieved without further delays, the Yard Goats will mark the ballpark’s opening with a game against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on April 13.

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