After much anticipation, Dunkin’ Donuts Park opened in Hartford this spring. It is the home of the newly created Hartford Yard Goats, a Minor League Baseball team (MiLB).
My husband works in downtown Hartford, and his company bought season tickets for the Hartford Yard Goats. They are kindly sharing those tickets with the employees. So a few months ago, he emailed me and asked if I thought our almost 3 year old son could handle sitting through a game. Honestly, I was not sure how he would do, but since the tickets were free, I figured why not give it a try?
Now technically, children under the age of 3 are admitted free to the Hartford Yard Goats games, however they must sit in the lap of an adult. Since we never know where our child will sit (my lap, daddy’s lap, the floor…), we snatched up four tickets. My husband and I went with the boy, and we bought along Grampie for fun too.
We chose one of the only morning games on the schedule for a while: June 1. The game was at 10:35 a.m., so we headed into downtown Hartford around 10 a.m. so to avoid rush hour traffic. Many of the games are in the evening. If you do head in for a night game, make sure to take into account rush hour traffic through Hartford. And if there are other events in the city, you’ll want to also plan ahead.
You can get into the games as early as 6 p.m. for a 7:05 p.m. game, and 12:30 p.m. for a 1:35 p.m. game. For our game, we could have gotten there as early as 9:30 a.m.. But again, we wanted to avoid the traffic, and we also wanted to limit our idle time since we had a toddler, so we arrived just in time for the start of the game.
One of the downsides of the weekday morning game was the parking. Since everyone was in the city for work, the parking lots filled up fast. The Hartford Yard Goats have several parking lots available for as cheap as $5, and all lots are within two blocks for the stadium. We saw a few “FULL” signs as we approached the lot we parked in. Fortunately, since my husband does already work in Hartford, he has a parking pass and we were able to park in the lot directly across from the stadium.
As we approached the new Dunkin’ Donuts Park, I was in awe! I have to say, it came out beautiful!!
Tickets are really reasonable for the games, but they vary by seat. Just a quick search and I found that some games had tickets for as low as $6. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone or at the Click It or Ticket Office at the Stadium. The Hartford Yard Goats ticket box office is located at the corner of Main and Trumbull Streets.
If you choose to buy tickets at the stadium, you can buy them on game days starting at 10 a.m. until the end of the game, or on non-game days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays (and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday). The games are getting really popular, and they have had some sell-outs, so consider planning ahead!
There are multiple entrances to the Hartford Yard Goats stadium, but the main entrance is right underneath the Dunkin’ Donuts Park sign.
At the gate, you’ll have your ticket scanned. If you have a bag, they do reserve the right to inspect it. They have a list of their basic rules posted at the front gate, and more information can be found on their website. Basically, no food or beverages are allowed into the stadium (we did go in with a sippy cup with no issue however); no abusive or offensive language or behavior is tolerated; no smoking is allowed inside the stadium; strollers are allowed and can be stored under your seat (so umbrella strollers would be ideal).
The inside of the stadium was bustling on our game day since it was “Take a Field Trip to the Baseball Game” day. Meaning, every school was taking a field trip to the Hartford Yard Goats game that morning!
We made sure to hold on to this guy’s hand tightly while we walked through the concourse!!
The CT FastTrack Guest Services Station (information) can be found near the home plate entrance of the stadium. If you sign up your child for the Red Robin Yard Goats Kids Club, you can pick the card up at Guest Services. For more information on how to sign up for the Kids Club, check it out here.
Directly across from Guest Services, you’ll also find the First Aid office.
There are plenty of choices for food and drinks at a Hartford Yard Goats game. You’ll find concessions everywhere, no matter where you sit. They have hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, soda, water, nachos and so much more. Surprisingly, they only had ONE Dunkin’ Donuts window in the whole place– and the line was insane!
They also have plenty of restrooms, including family restrooms. Changing tables are found in every restroom.
Once you have made your way through the concourse and grabbed your snacks, you’ll find it pretty easy to locate your seats. There are signs everywhere.
And in case you do struggle to find your seat, you can easily spot a Hartford Yard Goats’ employee. There shirts pretty much give them away!
There are really no bad seats at the Dunkin Donuts Park. Honestly.
Even the Hartford Terrace offered great views!
Of course, depending on where you sit, you do need to be mindful of those foul balls! If you catch one though, you get to keep it!
Our seats were right above the visiting team’s dugout box! And of course, we were in prime space for foul balls… In fact, a couple different people warned us of this. We didn’t see any fly our way; but one of the visiting players from the Richmond Flying Squirrels tossed my boy a ball, which he was very excited about!
Our view was pretty amazing, right from first base!
Our game was at 10:35 a.m., and it was a bright clear day. And sitting in those stands, you felt it. We had tons of sunblock on; but wow, we were hot! There really is no shade cover at all. So if you sit in the stands, be mindful of this. Be prepared with sunscreen, hats, and anything you can think of to stay cool!
We got a little surprise right after they sang the National Anthem. Apparently, the previous night’s game (Hartford Yard Goats vs. the Richmond Flying Squirrels) had been rained out. So, they had to finish that before they could start the new game. Once that was over, then they would start the actual scheduled game we had tickets for. They were starting at Inning 5. Granted we were getting two games for the price of one, but this was going to be a looooong game. And we had a toddler with us…
As I mentioned, our boy had his own seat, and he stayed in it for all of five minutes.
Then he moved to my lap…
Then we had to ply him with popcorn…
And then he moved to daddy’s lap, and grampie’s lap, and he did some laps up and down the aisle. Needless to say, he totally made use of his ticketed seat.
I did discover this awesome kid’s zone in the back of centerfield, but we opted to skip this with our boy. This would probably come in handy for parents with restless children like mine. The Travelers’ Kids Fun Zone includes an inflatable slide, and basketball pop-a-shot. The Hartford Yard Goats website mentions they also have a speed pitch and other inflatables, but I only saw the slide and basketball game set up today. Each activity costs 1 ticket; tickets are $1 each, 6 tickets for $5 or unlimited use for $10.
So it was hot, he was restless, and we were only 45 minutes into the previous night’s game. It was really not looking like a promising morning. Then I remembered something!
Our tickets, since they were “fancy” company tickets, came with access to the YG Club. So I snuck off (leaving our restless child with daddy, haha) to find this Club.
And they hide it pretty well! The entrance is over by the Guest Services.
The whole room was air conditioned, and it was lovely! They also had a small snack stand, and a full bar.
The best part of this special access was the view of the field – right above home plate!!
I could also see my husband and my boy from way up here; and I totally called his phone to tell him to look up at home plate so he could see me!
I decided to be nice, and go back for them. We ended up spending the last 45 minutes of the game enjoying these new seats. It was even cooler up here, since we were out of the direct sun. I was super thankful for this change in scenery; otherwise, I’m not sure how long the toddler would have lasted!
We ended up staying until the end of the first game. The second one was not due to start until 12:30 p.m., and we knew any longer would be pushing it with this child. I was impressed he lasted as long as he did. Granted it took popcorn, lemonade, hot dogs and pretzels to keep him happy, but isn’t that what you’re supposed to eat at a baseball game?
Of course, we had to finish out our morning with a quick stop at the Hartford Yard Goats Team Store.
We had a really great day at the Hartford Yard Goats game!
I’m pretty excited that we have this new stadium in Hartford, and I think it will be a great addition to our area. I think a lot of people agree with me as well, since they sold out for the entire weekend already! Make sure you get your tickets soon, you’ll be so glad you did!
Welcome to Hartford, Yard Goats! EAT IT UP!
This about sums it up…
1214 Main Street – Hartford, Connecticut
The 2017 Schedule runs until September. Home Games vary by date and time. Please check the team schedule here.
Tickets can vary by game, and seat. Prices can be as low as $6. To purchase tickets, please visit their website. Children under the age of 3 do not require a ticket but MUST sit on an adult’s lap (if you have a child that will not sit on your lap, buy a ticket for them).
Tickets can be purchased online, by phone or at the Click-It Or Ticket Office at Dunkin’ Donuts Park. Certain games offer special promotions. Some games are selling out- make sure to plan ahead.
- Stroller friendly overall – strollers can be brought into the stadium but must be stored under your seat and cannot block the aisle or row (I’d recommend an umbrella stroller if you bring one with you).
- Parking is available at multiple parking lots, for $5. These lots may fill up so plan to arrive early to ensure a prime spot.
- Bathroom facilities are found all over – with changing tables in all restrooms
- Cash and Credit accepted for tickets, food and souvenir shop. Bring cash for the parking lots.
- No food or beverages can be brought into the park.
- Diaper bags, bags and purses are allowed in the stadium but may be inspected upon entrance.
- Food for purchase
- Dress wisely, bring hats, and use sunblock. During a warm day, the stadium does feel pretty hot. There is not much shade covering in the stands during a daytime game.
- Plan ahead and buy tickets. Also make sure to check out the current game day promotions, for special family and kid friendly events.