Amidst concerns that it would violate an agreement with the Hartford Yard Goats (Class AA; Eastern League), a proposed Dunkin’ Donuts Park ticket surcharge has been withdrawn.
In light of a recent law change, Hartford mayor Luke Bronin had proposed that the city institute a five-percent surcharge on tickets sold at Dunkin’ Donuts Park. During the 2017 season, the city was covered by an exemption that allowed it to collect a 10% state admissions tax from events at the ballpark. Connecticut lawmakers, however, voted last October to approve a budget bill that repealed that exemption, effectively redirecting those funds to the state.
It was estimated that Hartford had obtained $290,000 in admissions tax revenue during the team’s first season at the ballpark. Bronin had proposed a five-percent ticket surcharge on top of the 10% state admissions tax, with the revenue from the surcharge going to the city and offsetting some of the lost revenue. However, Yard Goats owner Josh Solomon contended that the surcharge would violate some of the terms of the agreement between the two sides, and the proposal was later withdrawn. More from The Hartford Courant:
“The team believes that the imposition and attempts to collect the surcharge will be a breach of the sublease,” Solomon wrote in a January letter to Bronin. “The team specifically reserves the right to refuse to collect or remit the surcharge.”
Individual tickets to the Yard Goats games range from $6 to $19. A 5 percent bump would have pushed the price of the cheapest ticket to $6.30, and the most expensive ticket to $19.95.
The team sold out 41 of its 68 home games last season, and drew a total attendance of 395,196 — the largest of any professional baseball team in Connecticut’s history and the second highest in the Eastern League.
Bronin said Monday that Hartford’s top attorney “reviewed the agreement signed by the previous administration and has determined that the agreement does not allow the city to impose this fee.” The deal between the city and the Yard Goats was brokered by former Mayor Pedro Segarra.
Before being withdrawn on Monday, the proposed surcharge had been pending before the Hartford City Council.
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