HARTFORD, Conn. (CBS HARTFORD) – Speaking at a press conference Thursday morning, officials from the Hartford Yard Goats and Eastern League said if the stalled Dunkin’ Donuts Park construction project takes too long, the minor league team will go elsewhere, at least for next season.
“We cannot risk 2017 being played on the road, and we are not going to,” Eastern League President, Joe McEacharn said. “The only thing that can happen here if this stadium is not done, baseball will not come to Hartford.
McEacharn refused to give a specific date by which the stadium must be finished, in order for baseball to be played there next season.
When asked what would happen if construction started up again but the stadium is unfinished on opening day, McEacharn said he did not want to respond to hypothetical situations.
“If the stadium is not done, baseball will not be in Hartford. That is the only weapon we have. I don’t want to use it. But we have to make a commitment in a timely fashion to our partners that they will have a home stadium. If this stadium is completed it will be here. If they do not finish this stadium it will not be here,” McEacharn said.
Work has been on hold for months after the city kicked developer Centerplan Companies off the job for failure to meet multiple deadlines.
The team and the league say Arch Insurance, the surety for the project, must see that the park is completed in a timely manner.
But the team and the city are working on a “plan B” option to come up with money for the project, in case Arch Insurance refuses to pay to finish the stadium.