|Chronological Tour: Stop 90|
Walking up to New Britain Stadium, Jul-2001.
The seating bowl during a game in 2010.
A healthy crowd enjoys Eastern League action.
The result was New Britain Stadium, a very nice-looking facility tucked in between the old Beehive and the football stadium in Willow Brook Park.
There was only one problem: the fans were not coming out in droves to see games at the new park. One initial factor may have been the affiliation: In 1995, the Boston Red Sox, impatient with Buzas’ decision process, moved their Eastern League affiliation to Trenton, and the Rock Cats were born and became a Minnesota Twins farm club. Hartford-area fans don’t associate too easily with the Twins – or the Colorado Rockies, with whom the club affiliated later on.
The good news is that under new ownership, fans started coming out to see up-and-coming players like Doug Mientkiewicz, who ironically contributed to the Red Sox’ 2004 World Series title after he was obtained from the Twins.
That success spelled the end of the team’s tenure in New Britain. In late 2014, officials in Hartford, the state capital just 12 miles away, announced that they were working on building a new park to lure the Rock Cats for the 2016 season. City officials approved the move that November, spelling the end of professional baseball in the Hardware City after 33 seasons, 20 at this park. Ground was broken in February 2015 for the new stadium that will host the rechristened Hartford Yard Goats.
In early September 2015, the Atlantic League announced that one of its franchises would be located in New Britain for the 2016 season. Relocating an independent league team within 12 miles of an established Minor League team might seem foolhardy, but many Rock Cats fans said that they could not envision following the team to Hartford. With two Atlantic League teams struggling at the gate in recent years, this may be a greener pasture for one of them. Ultimately, the Camden Riversharks suspended operations, replaced in the league roster by the New Britain Bees.
|195||Sat 15-Jun-1996||Eastern||AA||NEW BRITAIN 8, Harrisburg 2|
|246||Sat 5-Apr-1997||Eastern||AA||Reading 3, NEW BRITAIN 1|
|321||Sun 2-Aug-1998||Eastern||AA||NEW BRITAIN 1, Norwich 0, 14 inn|
|346||Thu 17-Sep-1998||Eastern||AA||Harrisburg 6, NEW BRITAIN 4, 10 inn|
|460||Wed 4-Jul-2001||Eastern||AA||Trenton 10, NEW BRITAIN 1, 1st|
|461||Wed 4-Jul-2001||Eastern||AA||Trenton 3, NEW BRITAIN 2, 2d|
|863||Thu 3-May-2007||Eastern||AA||NEW BRITAIN 4, Binghamton 3, 1st|
|955||Sat 23-Aug-2008||Eastern||AA||NEW BRITAIN 3, Akron 2|
|1038||Sun 13-Sep-2009||Eastern||AA||Norwich 2, NEW BRITAIN 0|
|1092||Sun 5-Sep-2010||Eastern||AA||NEW BRITAIN 4, Trenton 1|
|1406||Sun 16-Aug-2015||Eastern||AA||Binghamton 3, NEW BRITAIN 0|