Dunkin’ Donuts Stadium Worth the Wait and a Visit
By Timothy Hendron
Live Wire Staff Writer
After months of contractor disputes, failing to meet deadlines, and construction problems, the Dunkin’ Donuts Park stadium in downtown Hartford is finally up and running and the home team is playing in it.
The Hartford Yard Goats Double A baseball team held its opening day April 13, ending months of anticipation from residents of Connecticut and surrounding areas.
Building of the park began in 2015 and was delayed through much of 2016, while Hartford officials wrangled the construction company over contracts and money. But when that dispute was settled, workers spent the first four months of 2017 getting the 6,000 seat park ready.
It has turned out to be a very nice stadium.
The staff and security are pleasant, the lighting is good, the bathrooms are conveniently placed and easy to find, and the food is delicious. It really has that true “ballpark” atmosphere, a great place for baseball fans and casual watchers alike.
Tickets are relatively cheap too, ranging from $19 to $10. Parking is fairly easy and inexpensive, with two lots right across the street from the stadium that cost $5. And a huge inflatable slide in the back of the stadium meant for children to play on is free of charge.
The stadium has drawn praise from people who have visited many others.
“For all the delays and problems the park had before, I’m surprised how nice the stadium actually turned out,” said Breen Bernard, a resident of Wethersfield who played baseball for much of his childhood and in high school.
The vast selection of food was one of most noteworthy parts of the stadium experience. There were the usual ballpark foods like hot dogs and nachos, but also stands dedicated to fried dough, Mexican food, and the signature “Yard Goat Sandwich” – either a burger or a BLT with glazed donuts serving as the bun. There were also, of course, a number of actual Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants throughout the stadium.
Mike Ruzzier of Wethersfield tried the BLT version of the Yard Goat Sandwich.
“The glazed donut BLT was one of the craziest, weirdly delicious things I’ve ever had,” he said. “There’s still so much I didn’t try. I would come back just for the food.”
The food may be a hit, but the actual team, on the other hand, isn’t looking very good. As of May 2, it had an 8-13 record, but only one of those wins was at home.
For more information about the team, the stadium or to buy tickets visit www.yardgoatsbaseball.com.