(WTNH)–Opening night at Dunkin’ Donuts Park is in the books and there’s no question about it—that was the nicest Dunkin’ Donuts I’ve ever been to.
Most DD’s have some seating inside–this one has 6,056 seats and a full-size minor league baseball field. Quinnipiac and Hartford were playing on it Tuesday night in the franchise’s–er–stadium’s “soft opening.”
The Hartford Yard Goats will take the field there for the first time on Thursday night.
Plenty of fans packed the brand-new stadium on Tuesday to watch the Bobcats and Hawks, and it felt like the beginning of something special in downtown Hartford.
The ballpark is beautiful–with outstanding sight lines, no bad seats and a nice view of the city from behind the outfield stands. It’s cozy and friendly, with plenty of interesting restaurant options and a state-of-the-art feel. You won’t find many minor league stadiums better than this one anwyhere.
But if you thought the “Dunkin’ Donuts” part of “Dunkin’ Donuts Park” was going to be a benevolent naming rights deal, well…you’d be very mistaken.
There’s a Dunkin’ Donuts concession stand inside, but that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the next-level sugary offerings at the park. There’s a BLTDD sandwich (?) that consists of bacon, lettuce and tomato on two glazed donuts. There’s also a donut/chicken skewers situation with glazed munchkins and fried chicken alternating on a kebab.
On night one there was also a Dunkin’ Donuts mascot race (coffee edged out iced coffee for the W) and a check-in with one of the concession stand workers who was wearing a Dunkin’ Dounts baseball jersey.
Dunkin’ Donuts Baseball: Eat It Up.
All kidding aside, the Yard Goats’ stadium, now that it’s finally finished, was well worth the wait. It’s minor league baseball with a major league feel, and the team took the extra time between its anticipated completion date and its actual opening to add some nice touches that make it feel authentic:
The photo above depicting Lou Gehrig and the 1922 Hartford Senators is very cool, and the addition of Whalers and UConn gear to the team shop was smart.
The team went the extra mile to make this feel legit, as evidenced by the fact that the Yard Goats logo is almost as omnipresent as Dunkin’ Donuts’, and it can even be found on the seats:
Every seat has a nice view of the action, from the ones by the railing down the first base line:
To the outfield seats, which go about six or seven rows deep:
The food options might be the best part, as there seems to be something for everyone.
Of course, just as we were posting this we heard the lights went out at the stadium in the top of the eighth:
— Coach Duggan (@MissDuggan) April 12, 2017
Maybe this franchise really is jinxed.