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More Drama Unfolds Around $63M Hartford Ballpark

The stadium authority for Hartford, Conn., has fired the developers of a $63 million minor league baseball stadium that likely will not open this year.

The firing of DoNo Hartford LLC and Centerplan Cos., came after they sent an email Friday to the Hartford Stadium Authority in which they said it would take 60 days or more for Dunkin’ Donuts Park to meet city codes, the Hartford Courant reported.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin announced the firing Monday. Centerplan also had indicated it would not be able to complete the 6,000-seat stadium without seeking more money from the city, Bronin said. Padlocks and chains were put on entrances of the ballpark Monday to keep out the developer and workers.

On Tuesday, city officials ordered the developers off the stadium’s premises, the Courant reported. Arch Insurance, the project’s insurer, may step in and recommend the developers finish the project (which is about 95 percent complete) after it completes its investigation.

Related: Four Arrested at Unfinished, Delayed Hartford Ballpark

Last month, the city announced it was fining the developers $15,000 a day for missing a May 17 “substantial completion” deadline of the ballpark, which had been scheduled to open April 7.

Jason Rudnick, the president of Centerplan who sent the email to the city last Friday, called Bronin’s decision to fire his company “ irresponsible governance” and that the design it received from the city did not meet its own building codes.

“What do we get for our honesty and transparency?” Rudnick told the newspaper. “We get terminated.”

“The city owns the design,” Rudnick added. “It will come out in the coming days and weeks.”

Regarding the shutdown of the ballpark on Tuesday, Rudnick said: “You don’t just pluck stuff up and leave. They have to button stuff up and make things safe. Once again, the city acts on impulse alone.”

The Hartford Yard Goats, the Double-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, have split their games this season on the road and in Norwich, Conn.

On Wednesday, the Eastern League announced that Hartford’s home series June 21-23 against the Richmond Flying Squirrels will be played in Manchester, N.H., and its home series June 25-26 against the Erie SeaWolves will be played in Norwich. Yard Goats season ticket holders will be allowed to attend all of these games with complementary tickets courtesy of the team while all other ticket sales will be handled by each of the stadium box offices in Manchester and Norwich.

“For us, the game hasn’t changed, and it’s up to us not to get caught up in what we can’t control,” Yard Goats manager Darin Everson told the Courant. “And the field is one of those things. It is what it is, and we’ll continue to do our job.”

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