Hartford to End Contract With Baseball Stadium Developer

Days after calling the bond on the new minor league baseball stadium in downtown Hartford, the mayor of Hartford announced that the city will terminate its agreement with the developer from the project.

It has been nearly two weeks since the Hartford Stadium Authority provided the executive director of the authority and the corporation counsel with the city of Hartford the power to take all steps necessary to ensure that the ballpark is completed.

The stadium, Dunkin’ Donuts Park, was supposed to be “substantially complete” by May 17, but that did not happen.

Bronin said during a news conference on Monday that the developers alerted them on Friday that it would be at least 60 more days before the project would be done.

Hartford Stadium Authority Chairman I. Charles Mathews said the insurer will now come in and do due diligence.

"If there is a germ of a possibility we can play baseball this year, we will," Matthews said.

City officials said late last month that “numerous construction deficiencies and code violations” remain on the project and the developer, Centerplan, threatened to walk off the job site and would be in serious default if it does so.

In a letter to the bonding company for the park, city officials said the developer failed to adhere to the requirement of an agreement reached in January to pay $50,000 if they missed the deadline and an additional $15,000 per day, up to $250,000, until reaching the “substantial completion” date.

During a tour of the park last week, DoNo Hartford LLC Manager Jason Rudnick, who is in charge of the development of Dunkin Donuts Park, admitted there is still much work left to do, but would not provide a new possible completion date.

He went on to say the city bears some culpability for the delays and missed deadlines because change directives have continued to arrive near daily.

On Thursday, Bronin wouldn't comment on the back and forth between the developer and the team.

With no home park, the Hartford Yard Goats have been playing their home games at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, home of the Connecticut Tigers.

The stadium was originally going to cost Hartford taxpayers $56 million, but the project’s costs have ballooned to nearly $70 million, with the developer and the team slated to pitch in more money.

Since the city has called the bond and is seeking to remove to construction company, it makes completion of the stadium this year less certain.

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