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Hartford Stadium Authority To Meet For First Time In 3 Months

The Hartford Stadium Authority, which oversees construction of the stalled Dunkin' Donuts Park project, will meet Tuesday in executive session to discuss its pending performance bond claim against the former developers.

The city has been in negotiations with Arch Insurance, the bond surety guaranteeing completion of the stadium once the performance bond claim was made.

The insurance company has been conducting an investigation into the claim but has not released the results yet.

In a recent email to The Courant, Arch Senior Vice President Patrick Nails said the company has entered into negotiations with the city regarding the terms of a takeover agreement in which it would assume the responsibility of completing the ballpark.

"Despite the complexities of the City's contract for constructing Dunkin' Donuts Park, Arch shares the goal of bringing baseball back to Hartford, and we fully expect the Yard Goats to play their entire season of home games in Hartford next year," Nails said in the email.

I. Charles Mathews, chairman of the authority, said Friday that the meeting will be the first one in three months and that the purpose is to update all the commissioners on the current situation regarding legal issues surrounding the 6,000-seat minor league baseball stadium.

Mathews would not say whether the meeting was an indication that work might resume soon or whether the authority would be making any announcements following the closed-door meeting.

Construction ceased on the ballpark in early June after the city terminated Centerplan Construction Co. and Do No Hartford after they missed a May 17 deadline for substantial completion of the ballpark in anticipation of a May 31 home opener.

The developers have argued that the city caused delays and cost overruns as a result of more than 100 change orders in the months leading up to the deadline. They have filed an injunction to prevent the city from hiring another developer to complete the ballpark and claim they were wrongly terminated.

The city and the developers are currently engaged in mediation over the dispute.

Double A Eastern League President Joseph McEachern said last week that if the stadium is not ready for opening day April 13 the Yard Goats would not play in Hartford next season. The team finishes its inaugural season on the road Monday.

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