The Yard Goats completed their first home stand in Hartford with their first home win at Dunkin’ Donuts Park Thursday. They beat Harrisburg 1-0. Hartford failed in its previous five chances to win at home.
Jeffrey Boyd and wife Toni are season ticket holders from Middletown. They’ve been there for all six games. The couple is happy with how they’ve been getting in and out of the park.
“As a matter of fact, one thing we were always concerned about, particularly with New Britain before is the parking and the parking has been absolutely sensational,” Boyd said. “It’s been perfect.”
Slow food service has been a general complaint from early park patrons, but Sharlene Wallen, the supervisor of the Grazin’ Goat concession stand and a Windsor native, said things are getting better.
“Our first game was a little bit hectic because we had new people here and everybody was learning each other,” Wallen said. “But, as we got into this week, it was pretty easier.”
Assistant General Manager Mike Abramson said that the team couldn’t officially move in until a certificate of occupancy came through, and that’s why things weren’t as smooth as he would have liked at first.
“You want to get people through a line in under five minutes,” Abramson said. “If you have to stand in line with your kids, it feels like a long time. Opening night in the ballpark, we only had a week to prepare before we actually opened.”
When the Yard Goats hit a homer, steam is supposed to appear from the giant coffee cup in left field. That didn’t happen when the team hit two homers on Saturday—another casualty in a period of development.
“We’ve got a bunch of CO2 containers back there that fuel that steam,” Abramson said. “I’m sorry to say that it is not actual coffee steam. It’s an illusion. We were working on some kinks and we’ve got them worked out. Next time there is a Yard Goats home run, you’ll see some steam.”
The Yard Goats return on April 28. They drew about 4,700 fans per game during the first homestand.