Construction on Hartford Ballpark May Resume Soon | Athletic Business

Construction on Hartford Ballpark May Resume Soon

It appears the on-again, off-again minor-league baseball stadium project in Hartford, Conn., could soon be back on again.

On Tuesday, the city of Hartford agreed to pay Kansas City, Mo.-based architect Pendulum more than $245,000 for work previously done on Dunkin’ Donuts Park, which clears the way for the company to resume operations, the Hartford Courant reported. Surety bonding company Arch Insurance, which is guaranteeing completion of the ballpark, has entered into an agreement with Pendulum to return to work, according to the report.

“We’re glad that things are moving again,” Jonathan O’Neil Cole, a principal with Pendulum, told the Courant on Thursday. “There’s nothing we want more than to see it completed. It’s going to be the crown jewel of the Eastern League. We haven’t been in the ballpark since June 6, so we don't know what’s ahead of us. We want to do it as quickly and accurately as possible.”

Construction on the $63 million, 6,000-seat stadium, the future home of the double-A Hartford Yard Goats, ceased in June after the city fired developers Centerplan Cos. and DoNo Hartford for missing the deadline for completion. The stadium, which was supposed to be done in time for the Yard Goats’ May 31 home opener, is about 95 percent complete.

Related: Unfinished Hartford Ballpark Not Covered by Insurance

Arch Insurance could bring back the fired developers to complete construction on the ballpark or bring in another developer, the newspaper reported. On Wednesday, Raymond Garcia, an attorney representing Centerplan and DoNo Hartford, said his clients are working with Arch Insurance and subcontractors to determine how much it would cost to complete the project. The developers’ goal is to resume work in September, Garcia said.

Another company that may finish the ballpark is Moriarty Construction, which has previously done business with Yard Goats owner Josh Solomon, who hinted last month at the possibility of moving the team if the project was not completed by Dec. 13, citing a breach of contract. Solomon called the current ballpark situation “intolerable” and added the team “has suffered substantial seven-figure losses as a result” of playing all of its games on the road this year. The Yard Goats, an affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, laid off four front-office employees in June.

Related: More Drama Unfolds Around $63M Hartford Ballpark

In a letter to Solomon published in part by the Courant, Howard Rifkin, the city’s corporation counsel, wrote last week: “It is our expectation that Arch Insurance will act soon and take the steps necessary to reopen the stadium construction site, have an agreed upon work plan and the critical path necessary to meet new deadlines in order to complete the stadium project in a timely way.”

Last month, the Eastern League announced the Yard Goats would spend the remainder of the season, which ends Sept. 5, playing on the road. This month’s games previously scheduled for Dunkin’ Donuts Park will now be played in Binghamton, N.Y.; Bowie, Md.; Trenton, N.J.; and Manchester, N.H. Yard Goats season-ticket holders will be allowed to attend all of those games with complementary tickets, courtesy of the Yard Goats. The host teams will handle all other ticket sales.

Related: Four Arrested at Unfinished, Delayed Hartford Ballpark

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