HARTFORD -- The Hartford Yard Goats are wrapping up their inaugural season at Dunkin Donuts Park, which was voted the best ballpark in Double-A Baseball and hosts the best attendance in the Eastern League.
Nobody is happier about the team’s success than the man who spearheaded the effort to get the park built, former Mayor Pedro Segarra.
But as happy as Segarra is about the park’s success, it is not necessarily his “field of dreams.”
In 2014, when Segarra first presented the idea to move the New Britain Rock Cats to Hartford, it was part of an overall redevelopment plan for downtown north that included residential, retail and entertainment.
Segarra believed Double-A Baseball would be a good fit for the entertainment part of that equation. “Stadiums and baseball and sports are a good way to get people together,” he says.
But the rest of it is still missing, and he’s disappointed. “My vision was a much broader vision of an overall development that would have added to the jobs base, the tax base, and the city of Hartford.”
In an interview on FOX 61 News at 4 Tuesday, current Mayor Luke Bronin said he thinks the rest of the development plan can eventually become a reality, but it will time. He explained the original developers who were fired from the project in 2016 still possess the rights to developing the area around Dunkin Donuts Park.
Ss for the stadium itself, Bronin said it brings thousands of people to Hartford 70 nights per year, and that’s good for the city.
Of course, Pedro Segarra agrees.
“Now that it’s here," he says, “and people see how entertaining it is to come to a game… now people sort of get it.”
More than sort of really, the team logged 39 sellouts this year, the last 19 in a row.