Vandalism at New Britain Stadium Prompts Investigation

There is an ongoing investigation into severe damage done to New Britain stadium months before the then Rock Cats finished their move to Hartford before becoming the Yard Goats.

While an investigation is underway to look for who is responsible, the city is the one footing the bill.

Erin Stewart, the mayor of New Britain said, "We're really disappointed. My job is to protect the assets, the stadium is a great asset to the city."

Stewart said the damage included missing hot water tanks from all of the skyboxes, lights ripped off the walls, punched in walls, cut wires and tampering with connections to the scoreboard.

"We're not really sure why this would happen. The only people that would have access to the rooms where this type of damage that happened were those that were the key holders," Stewart said. "And at that time it was not the New Britain bees I can assure you that much"

According to police, video surveillance footage of the incidents is also being investigated.

"There are camera systems so I'm certain that that will prove to tell us who did that, or is it the fact that someone knew weren't the cameras weren't and did them," Stewart said.

Yard Goats' general manager, Tim Restall, strongly fought back against the notion from the mayor that then Rockcats staff may have been responsible:

"She's disparaging our hard working staff, accusing them of vandalizing New Britain Stadium. These charges are blatantly false and unfair to those who have worked so hard in the City, many for several years."

New Britain Police have not accused the then-Rock Cats staff of the damage and said  the investigation continues.

In addition to the vandalism accusations, Stewart is also seeking payment from the Yard Goats for $149,317 in outstanding utility bills from their lease at New Britain Stadium.

Tim Restall confirmed that the Yard Goats are not late in the utility payments and will fulfill their obligations under their lease with the city of New Britain.

Stewart said the New Britain Bees, who will play their first game at the stadium in late April, have paid for repairs to the offices, but that the city will pay for the rest of the repairs. She's estimating those repairs to be at least $10,000.

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