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Stadium delays could send Yard Goats on the road for weeks

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HARTFORD — Time and money are running out on the Hartford Yard Goats to start the season in their new ballpark so the team will have to hit the road.

The stadium project is close to $10 million over the $56 million budget and construction is behind schedule putting April 7th’s opening day at Dunkin Donuts Park in serious jeopardy which will force the Yard Goats to play their home games somewhere else.

After a meeting on Tuesday, it was announced that the completion date will likely be pushed back four to six weeks meaning the earliest the Yard Goats could play in Hartford is the end of May. If that holds true, the team will play all of their early games in other cities and that isn’t sitting well with stadium authority.

“What I do know is that the city never received warning,” said I. Charles Mathews, who is chairman of the Hartford Stadium Authority. “The first time we heard it was a problem was December 10th after eight or nine meetings of saying we’re on track and on budget.”

Developers offered budget suggestions, including reducing its fees and delaying the the completion date to help cut cost but says it the came down to design control and they didn’t have it.

“The control of design was clearly relinquished and the city made decisions about design which have caused an over budget situation that we’re trying to rectify,” according to stadium developer Robert Landino.

Eastern League President Lee McEacharn, who expressed his displeasure with the circumstances saying it is “unacceptable” that the stadium will not be ready, will announce his plan in seven to 10 days which should include a new schedule.

While extremely disappointed at the prospect of missing opening day, Yard Goats owner Josh Solomon remains committed to Hartford.

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