Hartford mayor Luke Bronin on Tuesday turned down Hartford Yard Goats owner Josh Solomon's offer of a loan to cover the costs for finishing Dunkin' Donuts Park prior to Opening Day next season, according to WNPR's Jeff Cohen.
Solomon, who on Monday said he was "desperate" while under pressure from Eastern League officials surrounding the future of the Yard Goats, wants to take matters into his own hands and ensure the ballpark is finished in time for the team's scheduled April 13 opener against New Hampshire. But Bronin and the city want to honor contractual obligations, which would have the insurance company responsible for backing terminated developer Centerplan Companies handle the leftover financial obligations.
"We obviously appreciate Josh Solomon's sense of urgency and we share it," Bronin told WNPR. "We continue to believe that the best result for Hartford's taxpayers is to get Arch Insurance to step up, take full control and full responsibility for the remaining financial costs."
No work has been done on Dunkin' Donuts park since Centerplan Companies was forced off the job. The Yard Goats have spent the entire 2016 season away from Hartford and will continue to do so through Sept. 5, when the regular season ends. The continued posturing between the city and the insurance company continues to leave real doubt surrounding the Yard Goats' future.
"I don't want the decision to be taken away from me and somebody else decide where we play next season," Solomon told WNPR. "And I'm afraid that's where it's going if we don't do something. And we've tried to wait and be patient, but nothing has come of it."
The Colorado Rockies have a player development contract with the Yard Goats through the 2018 season. It's unknown whether the ballpark situation, which has had some negative effects on the Rockies' prospects due to the constant traveling, would cause the major league club to alter the contract.