Yard Goats show off their new stadium

HARTFORD – Two weeks ahead of a scheduled home opener, the Hartford Yard Goats opened the doors of Dunkin' Donuts Park.

Assistant General Manager Mike Abramson brought FOX61 on a tour of the nearly completed minor league ballpark.

When you come in the gates of the $71 million, publicly financed stadium, from the street under the giant Dunkin' Donuts Park sign, you are on the concourse level. The concourse is field facing, and 360 degrees, so you can walk around the entire ballpark, Abramson said.

Abramson pointed out the giant video board and on top of it is a Dunkin' Donuts cup which lets out steam every time the Yard Goats get a home run.

Next to the big board is the Travelers Fun Zone which Abramson said is his favorite part. “We all kind of agreed that it was fair and it was a nice benefit for parents to have the kids play in the fun zone but still be able to watch the game,” he said.

There are 6,000 seats in the ballpark but it hits capacity at 8,000.

The lowest priced seats are $6 which he said comes with a great view of the field and city. There are a number of suites in the ballpark. Abramson said majority are owned by companies for the full season; however, a couple can be rented out on a nightly basis.

The 18 hospitality suites fit up to 24 people and are in hallways that connect to the YG Club by Frontier. The YG club is open to premium ticket holders. It is fully packed with furniture, a large bar, a fireplace and outdoor decks.

Abramson said there will be a barber shop, pool table and shoe shining room, as well. When you leave the YG Club and walk down the suite hallways, you will hit either the Sam Adams or Heineken outdoor party deck.

The stadium also has field level suites which can hold about 40 guests and can be rented out on a game-by-game basis.

“You actually share your space with the dugout so the players will be sitting right next to where you are sitting and watching the game,” Abramson said.

The park was supposed to open for the 2016 season but faced setbacks, including issues with the park’s original developers and the city.

Last June, The Hartford Stadium Authority, including Mayor Bronin, cut ties with the stadium developer DoNo Hartford LLC and its construction company, Centerplan.

In September, The Hartford Stadium Authority reached an agreement with Arch Insurance to complete the project. The insurance company later announced  that it has chosen Baltimore-based Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. to finish Dunkin’ Donuts Park.

Construction officials told the Hartford Stadium Authority the park will be ready for a sold-out opening game on April 13.

“There’s so much work to do now and I suspect the next month there will just continue to be that it's hard to stop and smell the roses,” Abramson said on the tour. “But opportunities like this actually give us the chance to come out on a beautiful day and look at the ballpark through someone else's eyes and really get to remember why we started this whole thing to begin with and why we’re here and what we’re very close to completing.”

Abramson said it’s starting to feel real and exciting.

“It's gonna be great when the players come in this weekend and really feel like it's all happening,” he said.