The City of Hartford has officially signed a deal with Arch Insurance for it to take over construction and management of the baseball stadium project.
The deal was signed by Mayor Luke Bronin and Stadium Authority Executive Director Sean Fitzpatrick Monday, October 17, and Arch will assume control of the site immediately.
Mayor Bronin told reporters Tuesday afternoon that even though the city had a deal "in principle" with Arch back on September 6, there was work being done during that lapse to make sure completion of the stadium could become a reality.
“They’ve been doing a lot of things behind the scenes prior to a formal signature.”
The deal lays out that Arch will be responsible for completion of the ballpark. It has alreay retained the services of Whiting Turner Construction.
Bronin was particularly pleased with the choice of Whiting Turner because of the company's track record building improvements to M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore where the NFL's Ravens play, and improvements to Marine Corps Field, the home of the Navy Midshipmen Football team.
"You’ve got a national contractor who’s built a lot of stadiums before committed to making sure it’s ready for baseball next season. That’s the best outcome at this stage in the game that we could have hoped for,” Bronin said.
NBC Connecticut's attempts to reach both Arch Insurance and Whiting Turner were unsuccessful.
The city called the bond on the project from DoNo Hartford LLC, the developer of the original stadium project. Centerplan, the company's parent, was responsible for providing the necessary funds to complete the stadium. The surety bond is worth an estimated $48 million and is meant to guarantee completion and delivery of a finished stadium to the city of Hartford.
Arch Insurance has been in talked with Whiting Turner, a construction company and design firm with experience in stadium construction, to be the completion contractor for the baseball stadium.
Opening Day is set for April 13, 2017, and the Eastern League along with the Hartford Yard Goats have said if the stadium is not complete and ready for baseball by that date, then baseball will not played in Hartford next year.
In a statement, the General Manager of the Yard Goats, Tim Restall, said the team is thrilled that construction will resume soon, and added, "We look forward to Yard Goats’ season ticket holders, corporate partners and fans experiencing the best ballpark in Minor League Baseball this April."
The City of Hartford is also still involved in a lawsuit with Centerplan, where it's alleged that the city is more at fault for the construction delays.
Mayor Bronin described that legal action as "not relevant" and added, There’s no legal basis to the lawsuits that they’ve fired before and I have no concern that CP is going to either be able to postpone or derail Arch and Whiting Turner’s availability to get the job finished.”
An attorney for Centerplan declined to comment.