Dunkin Donuts Park construction on track for opening day

HARTFORD – In its second to last meeting before opening day at Dunkin Donuts Park, the Hartford Stadium Authority received mostly good news from construction officials and Yard Goats team owners.

Representatives from Arch Insurance, the company now funding the construction of the $70 million stadium in Hartford, told the authority that work is on track for the Yard Goats opening day on April 13. Crews have been working 7 days a week to meet that deadline.

“Getting the last three outs for a baseball game is often the toughest part of the game and that’s kind of where we’re at right now. For this final part, and I would characterize it that we are in the finishing stages of construction, there’s a tremendous amount of coordination that is necessary there not only from a construction perspective but also coordination with the city,” said Patrick Nails, a Senior Vice President at Arch Insurance.

Nails noted construction is complete in 50 rooms and they are prepared to hand over a significant portion of the stadium to the city.

But he added that as they’re working, they are still finding some latent defects, such as dry wall that was hung incorrectly.

He said, “I would characterize all those defects as being pretty minor in nature but the fact that we still find them once and awhile is concerning . But provided that we don’t find anything major, provided that we continue to work closely with the city, we fully expect for there to be baseball on April 13.”

Team owners said the front office staff is preparing to move in on Saturday, which they see as a big milestone.

They also noted that despite the stadium opening a year later than planned, they did not lose any sponsors.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said, “Until that first pitch is thrown out I’m not hanging any ‘Mission Accomplished’ banners but there’s been tremendous progress.”

“I said from the start we have to play the hands that we’re dealt and I think at this point we all, myself included, need to embrace this project, embrace this team and come out and enjoy the games when they start being played,” said Bronin.