The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball Clubs (“ALPB”) has announced that the League Board of Directors has formally approved a franchise based in New Britain, Connecticut. The new team will begin play in April, 2016.
In September, the League successfully negotiated a lease that was subsequently unanimously approved by the New Britain Common Council. Final approval of the Atlantic League Board of Directors was the last hurdle for the deal.
“The City of New Britain and baseball fans in central Connecticut have welcomed our league with open arms,” said Atlantic League Founder Frank Boulton. “We are pleased with the enthusiasm that we have encountered even before the first game is played. I want to thank Mayor Erin Stewart, her staff and the Common Council for their hard work to make it happen."
Whether the new team is an existing or expansion club is still to be determined. Atlantic League play will begin next April at New Britain Stadium. The stadium will be home to 70 home games in 2016.
“I am absolutely thrilled that we can finally say with full confidence that professional baseball is alive and well in the City of New Britain,” said Mayor Stewart. “This was the final procedural hurdle that needed to be cleared for the Atlantic League to come to New Britain for the 2016 season, and we’ve done it. I think the fact that it was an 8-0 vote speaks to the level of confidence the Atlantic League has in this community and this fan base.”
The Mayor continued, “I am so appreciative of the interest in New Britain shown by several leagues and potential ownership groups. But Frank Boulton and the Atlantic League were by far our best option and I am so happy that they will soon call New Britain home. I can’t wait for opening day next April!”
The Atlantic League has completed its 18th season of professional baseball and includes teams in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Texas. Since beginning play, over 800 Atlantic League players -- including more than 50 this year -- have been signed by Major League Baseball organizations.
"I am pleased to welcome New Britain into the Atlantic League,” said ALPB President Rick White. “Formal approval by the Board means that we can begin planning our 2016 schedule to include the new team in New Britain."