Dunkin’ hit it out of the park this afternoon when Yard Goats owner Josh Solomon announced that Hartford’s new baseball stadium would be named after the popular New England coffee franchise.
“Baseball is known as America’s favorite pastime, and America runs on Dunkin’,” Tom Manchester, Dunkin’ Donut’s Vice President of Field Marketing, said during a press conference held outside City Hall Wednesday.
City officials and Solomon declined to comment on exactly how much Dunkin’ Donuts, which currently has over 350 locations in Connecticut, will have to pay the city for the naming rights.
The stadium plan requires $225,000 a year in name revenues in order to help pay off the bonds to build the minor league ballpark.
As of now, these payments would be the majority of how the city would pay off the $60 million in bonds.
That is, of course, unless a legislative proposal requiring the state to give an estimated $426,000 annually in admission taxes back to the city makes it into budget implementation language.
Currently, Connecticut collects 10 percent of sales tax on event admission fees and the money goes to the state’s General Fund. The budget passed by the General Assembly on June 3 doesn’t include any special provision for the new Hartford stadium, but there is a special session scheduled for later this month.
Several lawmakers expressed concern over Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra’s request to divert the tax dollars to the city, but that didn’t stop Segarra from advocating for the money back in April.
“This is a user tax, meaning only those who use the stadium by purchasing a ticket will generate revenue that would go into the Hartford minor league baseball stadium account,” Segarra testified.
The stadium’s construction is scheduled to be complete by March 2016, and the Yard Goats’ season will start April 7, 2016.
Upon completion, the finished stadium will stand at 1214 Main Street. The ballpark is part of a $350-million redevelopment plan referred to as Downtown North, which will include a brewery, grocery store, residences, and other commercial properties.
During the press conference Segarra said that, at the peak of construction, the Dunkin’ Donuts stadium will have created 1,800 jobs, with hundreds more following after it’s completion. A study by the University of Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis suggests that the stadium will create more than 1,000 permanent jobs.