If by May 17, Dunkin Donuts Park doesn't have nearly all of the steel raised, and multiple sections near complete, then DoNo LLC will have to pay the city tens of thousands of dollars, file a mitigation plan and put a $2 million payment from the owners of the Yard Goats in jeopardy.
T.J. Clarke, Hartford's City Council President, said he's optimistic that Centerplan, the owner of DoNo LLC, will deliver the stadium as promised.
"I have the confidence that Centerplan will be able to complete the project as has been written in the contract for what means substantial completion date, so I’m confident that they will hit that date,” he said.
If the May 17 deadline is met, then the Yard Goats' owners will provide a $2 million payment to the city for completion of the park. The sum was agreed to during negotiations in January when it was learned that the stadium was coming in over budget and late. The team would also pay rent for the entire year by September as promised if the deadline is met.
But, if the May 17 deadline is not met, it activates several clawback measures, meant as incentives, to complete the project.
Centerplan would owe the city of Hartford $50,000 on the first day the stadium was not substantially complete and $15,000 each day thereafter. DoNo would also be required to submit a "recovery plan" in order to get the project back on track.
The city is already providing an additional $5.5 million for the completion of the stadium that had an initial price tag of $55 million.
The Yard Goats were supposed to start playing baseball at Dunkin Donuts Park on May 31. The team has a deal to play its first slate of home games at Norwich's Dodd Stadium, after starting on the road for nearly two months.
Centerplan, and the Yard Goats were not available for comment Tuesday.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin issued a statement by email.
“They're pushing up against a tight deadline right now, and they have construction crews working around the clock. I remain hopeful that they will get it done on time, but I’ve never been willing to predict the future when it comes to this project, and I'm not going to start today," Bronin said. "The bottom line is that when the developer believes the stadium has reached substantial completion, we’ll inspect and make our own assessment. And when we believe the stadium has reached substantial completion, we’ll turn it over to the team.”
Clarke said taxpayers in Hartford expect a stadium to be complete as promised.
“I think they have every right to believe that because of what’s been going on since we have taken office and all of the hoopla around that. They want to see a completed stadium.”