On May 18, UConn Baseball will be playing a home game under the lights. The Huskies and East Carolina will be shifting the opener of their series from J.O. Christian Field in Storrs to Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford, Connecticut, home of the Colorado Rockies’ AA affiliate, the Hartford Yard Goats.
A relationship with Dunkin’ Donuts Park and the Yard Goats could prove beneficial for the UConn Baseball program.
With the release of the feasibility study to rebuild athletic facilities on campus in February, baseball will be getting a new field, one with a turf surface and lights. While it is being built, they will need to find a place to play.
Dodd Stadium in Norwich has potential. It is home to a short-season affiliate of the Detroit Tigers and their season doesn’t start until just before the beginning of the College World Series, meaning that even if the Huskies were to be a national seed and host a Super Regional, they could do so at their “home” stadium without any problems from other tenants.
However, Norwich isn’t without its problems. It is more than 40 minutes away from campus, down back roads. It also almost an hour away from Bradley International Airport, where most conference teams will arrive from to play the Huskies.
Dunkin’ Donuts Park, while it has a tenant from April onward in the Yard Goats, could prove to be a better temporary home while their new stadium is being constructed.
The facility is newer, with fewer than 20 games under its belt. It also is about half an hour from campus down Interstate 84 and close to Bradley International in Windsor Locks, with numerous hotels in the area.
Playing at Dunkin’ Donuts Park on May 18 may be a one-off event, but when the Huskies need a temporary home, the new ballpark in Hartford could be a good place for them to settle.