New Britain officials vote on baseball lease deal - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New Britain officials vote on baseball lease deal

Posted: Updated:
Common Council will discuss repairs to the old New Britain Rock Cats stadium, so the Atlantic League can relocate a team there. (WFSB) Common Council will discuss repairs to the old New Britain Rock Cats stadium, so the Atlantic League can relocate a team there. (WFSB)
NEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) -

Professional baseball was a topic of discussion for the New Britain Common Council on Wednesday night.

Earlier this month, the Rock Cats played their last home game in New Britain before the team will move to Hartford and become the Hartford Yard Goats.

Just days after the game, the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball Clubs voted to give New Britain "conditional approval for a ball club for the 2016 season."

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.  

On Wednesday, the Common Council voted on an agreement with the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball Clubs to play in New Britain, and the players were told it will be pretty different from the old Rock Cats.

"These kids are in a different stage in their development. Many cases it's their last opportunity. In many cases they're coming back from injuries," said Joe Klien, executive director of the Atlantic League and former general manager of the Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers.

The city will still need to make some improvements to the stadium, of up to $500,000 to be spent on painting the stadium, installing carpeting, fixing broken seats, and changing the team signage and colors.

"We feel very fortunate and we feel we have a lot to offer," Klein said.

It is unclear which team the club will choose to come to New Britain.

"It's local. It's even more reason to go," said fan Phil Pepin.

Copyright 2015 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.