HARTFORD -- The developers of the Dunkin' Donuts Stadium faced a Tuesday deadline to complete the stadium, but that day has come and gone. According to Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, the developers missed that opportunity.
The future home of the Hartford Yard Goats was supposed to be "substantially completed" and turned over to the city at some point Tuesday or developers would be in breach of contract. The day came and went without it being turned over.
"I think the past administration was unrealistic in setting the original schedule," Mayor Bronin said. "But the deadline that was set in the negotiations a couple of months ago was a deadline that was put forward by the developers and I think they should have hit it."
A statement released by Josh Solomon, the owner of the Yard Goats, said:
We’re extremely disappointed the deadline for substantial completion has been missed, again.
We encourage Mayor Bronin and the Stadium Authority to do everything in their power to get the stadium completed so that the team can come home to Hartford and play ball at Dunkin’ Donuts Park this summer.
The Yard Goats remain committed to our fans and sponsors, to bringing professional baseball back to Hartford with the best park in minor league baseball.
The contract said missing the deadline would mean the developers would owe the city of Hartford $50,000 day one and $15,000 every day after until it's done. But Tuesday, Mayor Bronin said every option will be put on the table. He said all parties involved will be in discussions Tuesday, Wednesday, and in the coming weeks.
Back in January, about a week after it was announced that Dunkin’ Donuts Park would not open by the originally-planned April 7 date, it was announced that the Yard Goats would start the 2016 season on the road.
Revised contracts called for a May 17 completion date setting up the first real home game for May 31. The developer insisted the stadium will be completed by May 17 and ready for the city per the terms of the contract. The May 31 home game will not happen in Hartford.
Earlier this month, a representative for the team's owners said he has grave concerns about elevators, food service, stairs, and 50 non-compliant issues.
Thursday, May 12, the team played the first of 9 planned "home" games at Dodd Stadium in Norwich. Now, more games could be played there.