New Britain expected to keep baseball in the city - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New Britain expected to keep baseball in the city

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New Britain Rock Cats stadium (WFSB) New Britain Rock Cats stadium (WFSB)
NEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) -

Baseball is expected to stay in the city of New Britain.

On Tuesday, the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball Clubs voted to give New Britain "conditional approval for a ball club for the 2016 season."

"They're an independent league. So they’re not associated with any major league team. They’re independent in their own right. But they do still trade players back and forth with the major leagues," said New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart.

This announcement comes just two days after the New Britain Rock Cats had its final home game.

The team will move to Hartford and become the Hartford Yard Goats.

The deal in New Britain isn't sealed yet. Before the first pitch is thrown next April, the city will have to spend up to $500,000 to make some upgrades to the stadium.

"Painting, fixing some seats, changing the team colors to whatever they may be," Stewart said.

Common Council and the league will also need to sign off on it, but that is expected to happen by the end of this month.

"We’re looking forward to a lot of our fans continuing to come back to the Greater New Britain area and earning a lot of new support too," Stewart said.

It is unclear how many jobs will be impacted by this. The team name is still being decided, but Eyewitness News was told it will include something with a bumble bee.

In Hartford, ground was broken on the new ballpark on June 5. 

Dunkin' Donuts Park was unveiled as the official name of the capital city's soon-to-be-built north end stadium on June 10.

The $58 million project in the Downtown North neighborhood, located at the intersection of Main and Trumbull streets, just north of Interstate-84.  

The team is scheduled to play in the new stadium in April 2016.

Hartford officials said the project helped keep the former New Britain Rock Cats franchise from leaving the state.

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