MAYOR BRONIN ANNOUNCES BALLPARK AGREEMENT (Rescheduled Stadium Completion Date Set for May 17)

(Jan 20, 2016) Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin today announced that the City has received financial commitments from both the Hartford Yard Goats and DoNo Hartford, LLC, an affiliate of Centerplan Companies, to help fund a significant portion of the $10.3 million shortfall in the construction of the city’s new Dunkin’ Donuts Park.  

Under the agreement negotiated by Mayor Bronin, the City of Hartford will receive $2 million from the Hartford Yard Goats baseball team, as well as a $2.3 million contribution from stadium developer DoNo Hartford LLC.  DoNo Hartford LLC will also pay approximately $225,000 per year in additional taxes on the DoNo development for the life of any bonds issued by the City or the Hartford Stadium Authority. In addition, the City will no longer be responsible for paying approximately $500,000 to improve the indoor parking garage that was to be made available as parking for the Yard Goats. 

As a result of the agreement, the Hartford City Council will be asked to approve an additional $5.5 million in new Hartford Stadium Authority construction funding, and DoNo Hartford LLC's additional tax payments will support approximately $2 million of that debt, leaving taxpayers to support approximately one-third of the total construction funding gap.

Under the revised agreement, the new substantial completion date for the stadium is May 17, 2016, and the stadium is expected to be available for an opening day of May 31, 2016, though Minor League Baseball's Eastern League has yet to finalize the Yard Goats schedule.

“No one wants to put more taxpayer money into this ballpark, but we have to play the hand we've been dealt," stated Mayor Bronin. “Our responsibility is to get the project back on track and avoid further delays that could result in additional costs to taxpayers and compromise the broader development at Downtown North.  The deal we are announcing today represents our best effort to protect both the short- and long-term interests of Hartford's taxpayers." 

Mayor Bronin added, “Let me be clear: no one is waving a 'mission accomplished' banner today.  There is much work to be done, not only to complete the ballpark but to ensure that the rest of the downtown north development proceeds as promised.  I am thankful that both the team and the developer contributed to a solution, and I look forward to working with them to ensure that the project proceeds on the revised schedule.”

Under the agreement, DoNo Hartford LLC has also committed to opening an office within the North Hartford Promise Zone to provide guidance, information and opportunity to Hartford residents and minority-owned business enterprise contractors to participate in the future development of the Downtown North Project.

Last month, representatives from stadium developer DoNo Hartford, LLC informed Hartford City officials and the Hartford Stadium Authority that the project was $10.3 million over budget and would not be ready for the previously scheduled Opening Day on April 7, 2016. 

“The City Council understands the importance of completing the Stadium as soon as possible and wants to make sure this process is fair and transparent,” said Hartford City Council President T.J. Clarke. “The Council will work diligently to pursue a prudent course of action that protects the best interests of Hartford’s residents and taxpayers.”

The Mayor will hold a town hall next Monday to discuss the agreement with Hartford residents. The Town Hall will be held at 5 p.m., Monday, January 25, at the Hartford Public Library downtown, at 500 Main Street in the atrium.