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Under Pressure, Yard Goats Owner Offers to Loan Hartford Cash to Finish Ballpark

Jeff Cohen
Team owner Josh Solomon, right, at a recent meeting of the Hartford Stadium Authority.
"I'm desperate," team owner Josh Solomon said.

Under intense pressure from Minor League Baseball, the owner of the Hartford Yard Goats said he has offered to loan the city the money it needs to finish Dunkin' Donuts Park in order to make sure ball is played in 2017. 

"I'm desperate," team owner Josh Solomon said. "I don't want the decision to be taken away from me and somebody else decide where we play next season. 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."

Construction at the stadium stalled back in June. The 2016 home season is lost. And, with his eyes on 2017, Solomon said he sent the city a proposal last week. He wouldn't provide it to WNPR, but he said it essentially calls for the team to loan Hartford the money it needs to finish the park. Solomon said he needs to know where his team will play next season, but he's seen nothing happen at the stadium in three months.

"I'm committed to the city," he said.  "I'm committed to playing baseball here, and, in that vein, submitted a proposal to complete the ballpark to the mayor and the head of economic development."

Solomon said he hasn't yet gotten a response. But it's worth remembering that he is merely the stadium's tenant. The city owns the unfinished ballpark, and Centerplan Companies was the more than $60 million project's developer until the city kicked it off the project back and June. That's when worked stopped. Since then, Centerplan's insurance company has been trying to figure out a way forward -- but there's been no progress announced publicly.

Meanwhile, Solomon said his boss at the Eastern League will be in town later this week -- and he hopes to have something to show him.

Our efforts to reach the city were unsuccessful.

Jeff Cohen started in newspapers in 2001 and joined Connecticut Public in 2010, where he worked as a reporter and fill-in host. In 2017, he was named news director. Then, in 2022, he became a senior enterprise reporter.

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