Hartford Yard Goats stadium won’t be ready for Opening Day

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Over-budget and past due. Today, everyone pointing fingers at a meeting at Hartford City Hall to clear the air over the new ballpark.

The project to build Dunkin’ Donuts Park, the new stadium for the Hartford Yard Goats, is about $10 million over-budget. They’re not sure of the exact numbers, only that the park won’t be ready for Opening Day on April 7.

“I think that there is something more to it than that, I think maybe there was some mismanagement… I don’t know,” said President of the Hartford Stadium Authority I. Charles Mathews

One of the developers, Robert Landino, says the city drew up a stadium plan that was too big for its budget and wouldn’t let them cut it down in size.

“We never had design control and that’s the part that needs to be pointed out. Even in the assignment in mid June, two months after design control was completed, it was stated we did not have design control,” said Landino.

And by not having control of the design, they couldn’t control costs. The developer says from the beginning, the new ballpark was over budget, the design was too expensive and they tried to cut costs, but now it’s about $10 million over.

Mathews claims the city should have known sooner of the cost over runs.

“The city never received any warning. The first time we heard there was a problem was December 10, after 8 or 9 meetings saying we are on track and on budget,” said Mathews.

Caught in the middle is the owner of the Yard Goats, Josh Solomon, who remains committed to Hartford, even though their first home game may be in June.

“I’m frustrated that we’re hearing about it now for the first time because as time becomes shorter, we have less opportunity to make contingency plans,” said Soloman.

Opening Day was supposed to be April 7, the team says there will still be an opening day, just not in the Hartford stadium. They have not announced a contingency plan.

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