Yard Goats road trip has no foreseeable ending, as Hartford fines developer for unfinished stadium

I know you want to know what’s up with the Hartford Yard Goats‘ road trip from hell, so here’s the latest: The team will keep playing home games in Norwich through June 6, then move a planned home series vs. the Reading Fightin’ Phils in mid-June to Reading, then cross their fingers and hope real hard that their Hartford stadium is ready by their next scheduled home game on June 21, because the Connecticut Tigers of the NY-Penn League will need the Norwich stadium by then.

Whether there’s any chance of that happening is still very much an open question. As an added incentive to the developers to get the damn thing built already, the city has started fining them $15,000 a day, as allowed in their contract. City officials also have the option of asking their insurer to cover the entire $2 million cost of finishing the stadium — much of which has already been spent — which would undoubtedly be better for the public’s bottom line, but worse for the Yard Goats, since waiting on the insurance claim could eat up the rest of the season.

It is pretty much the worst-case scenario to end all worst-case scenarios, with everybody losing out: Taxpayers who shelled out to build this thing, the team’s owners and fans, and even New Britain fans who lost their team to a city that wasn’t even ready to host it. (I guess fans in Norwich are getting to watch some extra Double-A baseball, so that’s a plus for them?) At this rate, the only baseball being played in Hartford for the foreseeable future could be these guys, and they got arrested so they probably won’t be playing much more this year anyway. Maybe Hartford should just skip the baseball team and keep the mascots?

4 comments on “Yard Goats road trip has no foreseeable ending, as Hartford fines developer for unfinished stadium

  1. http://www.courant.com/sports/baseball/hc-jacobs-column-yard-goats-solomon-0524-20160524-column.html

    Jeff Jacobs needs to STFU. He is a boot-licking sycophant, as well as a sneering whiner. Oh, Jeff! Let me guess–you were promised a position within Solomon’s organization in exchange for your undying rah-rah rhetoric in the Courant, which began just about two years ago. And you threw in your own Jacobs touch, which was to call the stadium opponents “naysayers” and “haters” at every opportunity. Even now, when you’re adamantly refusing to get in a lifeboat and continue to stay on board the Titanic, you still manage to throw a few jabs. Perhaps that is balm for your bruised soul and ego. Now get this straight: Nobody ever said they were against having a minor league baseball stadium in Hartford. They were against having it paid for with taxpayer dollars. And they were right, right, right! This will not end well, and the people you revile knew it all along.

  2. New England journalism is full of these rah-rah types who seem to think that cities have to “think big” with OPM to keep up with New York.

    The Boston Globe is still in tears that the “OIympic Dream” never happened, due to “naysayers” who asked uncomfortable questions about funding the biggest white elephant sporting event anywhere. That cities should focus on effective management and developing good systems is beyond their comprehension.

  3. Portland (Maine) built its AA team a new 6000-seat ballpark 20 years ago, on the site of a high-school field. It cost the city only $3 million. It got done on time.
    City Public Works employees performed much of the work. The team owner put in a lot of his own money, and when they needed to install another 1000 seats, the SeaDogs paid for it.
    Hadlock Field is still the nicest park in the Eastern League.
    Hartford, it’s not that hard to do it right.

  4. The Hartford Stadium Authority has formally “called in the bond” requiring the insurance company to become involved in the stadium. The builders are claiming that the city is at fault for the delay because of change orders. Depending upon whether the change orders were agreed-to by the builder without compensation, this may or may not be a legal recourse. Remarkably, in one report, the developer is claiming the changes could cause *months* of delay.

    Either way, this mess has all the signs of heading to court. That would likely result in the developer being thrown off the work site. If you are a Yard Goat (or have friends who are Yard Goats), I wouldn’t expect to be playing a home game in Hartford this year.