New Britain, Atlantic League officials agree on first part of lease; baseball could be back in city by 2016

By: Kels Dayton and Mark Davis, WTNH Chief Political Correspondent

(WTNH)–There may be baseball in New Britain post-Yard Goats, after all.

On Tuesday, mayor Erin Stewart told News 8 that the city and the independent Atlantic League have finalized the first part of a lease agreement that could bring a team to New Britain as early as 2016.

“Over the last six months, we’ve been speaking with the Atlantic League about either relocating a team, or starting a new team in New Britain,” Stewart said.

 

New Britain Stadium (WTNH/Josh Scheinblum)
New Britain Stadium (WTNH/Josh Scheinblum)

She said the first part of a lease agreement had been agreed upon, and that it is now subject to the approval of the Atlantic League Board of Directors and the New Britain City Council.

“We’re crossing our fingers for board approval, and then we’ll move forward from there with whatever changes they suggest.”

Stewart said the city immediately invested $500,000 in stadium improvements after the Rock Cats announced their decision to move to Hartford in March.

“There’s been no shortage of interest in the stadium,” Stewart said back in April. “I want good family-friendly baseball in New Britain, and I’m going to do what I can to make sure that stays.”

If New Britain does get an Atlantic League team, it would create a nice rivalry with the in-state Bridgeport Bluefish.

The Atlantic League currently has eight teams, in Bridgeport, Camden, N.J., Lancaster, Pa., Long Island, Somerset, N.J., Southern Maryland, York, Pa., and Sugar Land, Texas.

It plays a 140-game schedule from April to late September.

“You’ve got a built-in base of families that are used to going to that stadium and having a good time,” Stewart said. “We want to replicate what has been going well.”

SportzEdge.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s