Yard Goats To Play May Home Games At Dodd Stadium
After a month on the road, the Hartford Yard Goats finally have a home—but it's not Dunkin' Donuts Park.
With Hartford’s new stadium still under construction, the Eastern League announced on Thursday that the Yard Goats will nine home games at Dodd Stadium, in Norwich, Conn., which is currently the home park for the short-season Connecticut Tigers. Before that, Dodd was the home park for the Eastern League's Connecticut Defenders. That franchise moved to Richmond after the 2009 season.
“This announcement by the Eastern League, which was expected due to the stadium construction delays, will give the Yard Goats players and coaching staff the opportunity to get home from the 37-day road trip and get settled in Hartford as we prepare for opening day at Dunkin’ Donuts Park,” Yard Goats general manager Tim Restall said in a release.
When Dunkin' Donuts Park will open remains in doubt, according to the Hartford Courant. The paper reported Wednesday that city development director Sean Fitzpatrick has "grave doubts" that the stadium developers will meet a May 17 deadline for "substantial completion" of the ballpark. In the same article, Eastern League president Joe McEacharn said he wasn't ready to say the ballpark would be ready to open for May 31 as planned, though he noted significant progress after a tour of the under-construction park.
In the meantime, Hartford will play at Dodd Stadium in Norwich for three series: May 12-15 vs. New Hampshire, May 16-18 vs. Akron and May 23-24 vs. Bowie. The May 24 game against Bowie will be a doubleheader and the scheduled game between the teams on May 25 has been cancelled. The game scheduled between Bowie and Hartford on May 26 will now be part of a day-night, separate-admission doubleheader at Dunkin' Donuts Park on Aug. 17.
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Yard Goats season ticket-holders will be given complementary tickets to the games at Dodd Stadium, and the facility's box office will handle all other sales. Dunkin' Donuts Park is still slated to open its doors on May 31.