Hartford Mayor announces ballpark agreeement

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin has announced that the City has received financial commitments to help fund a significant portion of the $10.3 million shortfall in the construction of the city’s new Dunkin’ Donuts Park.

Under the agreement, the City of Hartford is set to receive $2 million from the Yard Goats baseball team as well as an addition $2.3 million contribution from stadium developer DoNo Hartford, LLC.

“No one wants to put more taxpayer money into this ballpark, but we have to play the hand we’ve been dealt,” said Mayor Bronin in a statement. “Our responsibility is to get the project back on track and avoid further delays that could result in additional costs to taxpayers and compromise the broader development at Downtown North. The deal we are announcing today represents our best effort to protect both the short- and long-term interests of Hartford’s taxpayers.”

The Dunkin Donuts Park has run into issues since construction began on the project. The Yard Goats’ stadium, which is running well over budget and has seen delays in construction, will not be ready for April 7, which was to be opening day. The $55 million, 9,000-seat stadium has already seen plans change several times, including nixing a roof over part of the outfield grandstands.

Under the revised agreement, the new substantial completion date for the stadium is May 17, 2016, and the stadium is expected to be available for an opening day of May 31, 2016, though Minor League Baseball’s Eastern League has yet to finalize the Yard Goats schedule.

The delay will force the Yard Goats to play their first 17 “home games” on the road.

The Mayor will hold a town hall next Monday to discuss the agreement with Hartford residents. The Town Hall will be held at 5 p.m., Monday, January 25, at the Hartford Public Library downtown, at 500 Main Street in the atrium.

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