HARTFORD – The New Britain Rock Cats are certainly the talk of the town now. Quietly negotiating with the city of Hartford for 17 months, the Rock Cats and the city announced plans Wednesday to build a new $60 million stadium in Hartford.
The Rock Cats, the Double AA affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, would leave New Britain to play in Hartford beginning in April 2016. The Rock Cats have been playing baseball in Connecticut since 1973 and have been in New Britain since 1983.
The move caught many people by surprise including New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart. “We explored our opportunities and the ability to bring baseball to the capital city was a tremendous opportunity that we couldn’t pass on,” Josh Solomon, managing partner of the Rock Cats, said on the steps of Hartford City Hall Wednesday afternoon.
The Rock Cats have been playing at New Britain Stadium since 1996. The state paid $10 million to build that stadium when the Rock Cats were flirting with moving to Springfield, Mass.