Rock Cats to Play Final Weekend Series in New Britain

It's a bittersweet moment as the Rock Cats start their final weekend series at New Britain Stadium.

"It’s like when you read a book and you start a new one," said Rock Cats General Manager Tim Restall. "And we have some great weather to close out the season in New Britain."

The team will play as the Yard Goats next year in a new stadium in downtown Hartford. The team announced it was leaving New Britain last summer, which came as a surprise to city officials.

The wound is still fresh in New Britain.

"There’s not a lot of excitement of them moving out. It’s not even bittersweet. A lot of disappointment," said Bill Carroll, New Britain's director of economic development.

He said as long as he could remember, New Britain was a regional hub for baseball.

"We were Baseball Town USA, as far as I’m concerned," Carroll said. "The golden era of high school baseball from the '70s through the lower '80s, we had probably more state championships than most other communities in the state of Connecticut."

He said the city is in talks with the Atlantic League, another Minor League Baseball organization, to land a team in New Britain once the Rock Cats' departure is final.

"There will be ongoing conversations, and we hope once that ink gets on paper that it dries real quick and we keep moving forward," he said.

Restall said he's optimistic that the support the team has received in New Britain will carry over into the capital city.

"It’s been great. When you walk through the ballpark, you see people that say hi and you catch up with their families. You know, they’re out enjoying life at the ballpark," he said. "Especially with us only going 12 miles away, it’s something we’re going to continue when we’re up in Hartford."

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