During a Hartford Stadium Authority meeting on Tuesday, officials noted the successful debut season of Dunkin’ Donuts Park.
After an extended wait for the ballpark’s completion, the Hartford Yard Goats (Class AA; Eastern League) played their first game at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in April. That came after the ballpark–which was originally slated to open in 2016–saw its development halted by construction delays and cost overruns, prompting the Yard Goats to spend all of 2016 on the road.
Legal fallout from the project is still unfolding, while the city, Yard Goats, and Arch Insurance–the firm that guaranteed the ballpark’s completion after the termination of its original developer–are still trying to resolve who will pay for about $500,000 in costs related to the ballpark’s construction. However, Yard Goats owner Josh Solomon said that Dunkin’ Donuts Park succeeded in its first year, while authority chairman I. Charles Mathews said he is hoping that the community’s response to the facility will lead to additional development in the surrounding area. More from The Hartford Courant:
“There were a lot of people who doubted what could be pulled off here,” Solomon said. “What people should really recognize is that if you build the right product in a good location, people will come and people will come in droves and it doesn’t have to be a baseball stadium.”
Solomon added that the area around the stadium will be successful however development there unfolds in the future.
The original intent of building the stadium was to spark development in a long-barren area just north of downtown. The development would then connect downtown to the north end neighborhoods.
“I am hopeful the stadium will bring other investment,” Mathews said. “The stadium has been a success. Everything that I’ve heard, people up and down Albany Avenue, up and down Main Street, Glastonbury, Avon, everywhere I go people rave about the stadium.”
The Yard Goats posted strong numbers on the attendance side in 2017, welcoming an average of 5,812 fans per-game and drawing a total of 395,196.
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