The city of New Britain says the Rock Cats have defaulted on their lease of the stadium amid mounting uncertainty surrounding the future of the team.
According to a release from the mayor’s office, the city sent a letter to New Britain Double Play and managing partner Josh Solomon on Friday informing them of the situation.
The team allegedly owes more than $164,000 in property taxes to the town of Berlin, which was due July 1. According to the mayor’s office, the city has temporarily paid the money owed “to prevent the immediate accrual of delinquency fees.”
“I am deeply disturbed by the pattern of utter disrespect that this ownership group has shown to their home city over the past few months,” Mayor Erin Stewart said in a statement Friday. “In June, they went public with their dalliance with Hartford, which hasn’t turned out to be quite the ‘done deal’ that some made it out to be. Since then, they have continued their radio silence with New Britain. Now, they are stiffing the taxpayers of Berlin and New Britain on their tax bill.”
The Rock Cats now have 30 days to pay back New Britain. If they don’t reimburse the city by Sept. 1, New Britain can terminate the lease and take back the stadium, the mayor’s office said.
It comes after numerous phone calls and emails to Rock Cats management over the past several weeks, according to the mayor’s office, which said all efforts to communicate with team leaders have gone “unacknowledged.”