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New Britain Stadium

New Britain, CT

Home of the New Britain Bees

2.9

N/A

New Britain Stadium (map it)
230 John Karbonic Way
New Britain, CT 06051


New Britain Bees website

New Britain Stadium website

Year Opened: 1996

Capacity: 6,146

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Plan Bee

New Britain Stadium, located in the city of the same name, was built in 1996 as a replacement for tiny Beehive Field. Beehive Field, built in 1983, was a minimalist ballpark which was typical of 1980s-era ballparks. By the time the minor league stadium construction boom of the 1990s rolled around, Beehive was obsolete. Located right next door to its predecessor, New Britain Stadium hosted the Minnesota Twins’ Eastern League affiliate for 19 years before an affiliate swap brought the Colorado Rockies to town in 2015.

During the 2015 season it was announced that the Rock Cats would be leaving New Britain for a new ballpark in downtown Hartford, 13 miles away.

Into the vacuum stepped the independent Atlantic League, which was looking for a new team to replace the Camden Riversharks, who were unable to reach an agreement with the owner of Campbell Field.

The name “Bees” alludes to Beehive Field, which still stands next door to New Britain Stadium, as well as the city’s motto: "Industry fills the hive and enjoys the honey.” In addition, a beehive is prominent on the city emblem and flag as a symbol of industriousness.

2.9

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    3

While the concessions at New Britain Stadium touch all the bases, there is nothing offered here that will qualify as a "must have."

All the usual ballpark fare can be found here, including burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, sausage and pepper sandwiches and Martin Rosol's hot dogs. Many items come as a combo meal with chips and a pickle. Chicken tenders, nachos and French fries are available as well. Fans looking for something a little different can select a pulled pork sandwich or vegetarian burger. Add some pulled pork or chili to your nachos for an extra two dollars.

Fans looking for a snack can choose from peanuts, pretzels, cracker jacks, popcorn and assorted candies. Soft serve ice cream is available in cones, bowls and souvenir mini helmets. Portable stands serve assorted slushes and fried dough.

Bottled Pepsi products are featured here. Fans of adult beverages will find several choices, including Coors Light, Blue Moon, Miller Lite, Yeungling, Budweiser, Bud Light, Shock Top and Samuel Adams.

Regular patrons to New Britain Stadium can be found atop the left field stands at the Rooftop Bar and Grill, which features bar seating and a grilled menu. The smoke from the grill wafts over the playing field throughout the game.

Atmosphere    3

Veteran fans of independent league baseball will find the atmosphere at New Britain Stadium very familiar and comfortable.

All the usual aspects of minor league game day presentation can be found here. An emcee can be found running around the ballpark in between innings trying to engage the fans in various contests and giveaways. There is a mascot, a giant bumblebee named Sting, who roams the concourse interacting with fans, and there is constant noise between batters and innings. The promotional schedule is loaded with specials and giveaways. Unfortunately, with the small crowds on hand most nights, the result of these efforts on the game day atmosphere appear to be minimal at best.

If attending the game with younger children, a trip to the kids play area located just beyond the right field stands will most likely be on your itinerary.

Neighborhood    3

New Britain is a city of 73,000 located about ten miles southwest of the state capital of Hartford. It is best known as a manufacturing center and home of Stanley Black and Decker. This gives the city its nickname as the Hardware City. In fact, the Rock Cats called themselves "Hardware City Rock Cats" for two seasons in 1995 and 1996.

New Britain Stadium is located adjacent to New Britain High School and Willow Brook Park. Also located in the sports complex with the ballpark is Veterans Memorial Stadium and Beehive Park. Despite the park's urban location, there isn't a whole lot to do in the immediate vicinity of the ballpark.

Most out of town visitors to New Britain will choose to venture on to Hartford or the casinos of eastern Connecticut, just an hour away, rather than stay in the city.

Fans    2

The Bees are averaging just over 3,200 fans per game thus far in their 2016 inaugural season. This places them sixth in the eight team Atlantic League. This figure is more than 1,000 less than the Rock Cats averaged in 2015, and more than 2,500 fans per game less than came through the gates of New Britain Stadium during the Rock Cats' heyday. Many regular visitors to New Britain remark that announced crowds are greatly inflated over actual attendance.

Crowds have picked up significantly over the course of the season, especially when it was announced that the Yard Goats' downtown ballpark would not be ready for the 2016 season.

As with most minor league teams, the Bees market themselves as family friendly entertainment. The crowd on most nights reflects the fruits of this strategy, as children and families make up a significant portion of any crowd at New Britain Stadium.

Access    4

Arriving at New Britain Stadium is a snap, as it is easily accessed by Interstates 84 and 91. Located right off of Route 9 near downtown New Britain, exit 24 will drop motorists off right at the entrance to the ballpark's parking lot.

The concourse at New Britain Stadium does not offer a view of the playing field. Several sets of stairs access a walkway located about one third of way up the seating bowl. Seats in the 100 level consist of folding plastic stadium seats, while box seats in the 200 level feature molded plastic bucket style seats. The three sections furthest down either baseline consist of metal bleachers with backs.

Netting at New Britain Stadium stretches from one dugout to another, meaning that if you want an unobstructed view, you will need to purchase seats in sections 101-105 or 114-118. All upper box seats feature some obstruction, while all bleacher seats are free of obstruction from netting.

Return on Investment    3

Tickets for Bees games cost $13 for Field Box Seats (100 level seats), $12 for Box Seats (200 Level) and $8 for bleacher seats. Parking is five dollars in the large lot next to the ballpark. With reasonable concession prices, catching a game at New Britain Stadium is an affordable entertainment option for fans in central Connecticut.

Extras    2

It's amazing the effect a simple coat of paint can make on an otherwise tired ballpark. The bright yellow, black and white scheme on the concourse and restrooms has brightened up what used to be a drab facility.

Check out the New Britain Sports Hall of Fame Display on the stadium concourse. You will be sure to find some familiar names among the nominees.

Final Thoughts

The Atlantic League has a history of successfully placing teams just outside of major cities (New York, Philadelphia, Washington and Houston). Time will tell if a smaller city like Hartford will be able to support two professional baseball teams.

New Britain Stadium was never considered much more than a serviceable ballpark, and will not help draw the casual fan by itself. Based on the numbers so far in 2016 without any affiliated competition, the Bees appear to have an uphill climb ahead of them to remain successful in this market.

Follow Paul Baker's stadium journeys on Twitter @PuckmanRI.

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Local Food & Drink

Portofino's  (map it!)

246 New Britain Rd.

New Britain, CT 06037

(860) 826-6374

http://portofinosrestaurantct.com/

East Side Restaurant  (map it!)

131 Dwight St.

New Britain, CT 06037

(860) 223-1188

http://www.eastsiderestaurant.com/

Peppino's Pizza  (map it!)

10 Man St.

New Britain, CT 06037

(860) 229-1156

https://locu.com/places/peppinos-pizzeria-new-britain-us/#menu

Ted's Restaurant  (map it!)

43 Berlin Rd.

Cromwell, CT 06416

(860) 635-8337

http://www.tedsrestaurant.com/

Local Entertainment

New Britain Museum of American Art  (map it!)

56 Lexington St.

New Britain, CT 06037

(860) 229-0257

http://www.nbmaa.org/

New Britain Industrial Museum  (map it!)

185 Main St.

New Britain, CT 06037

(860) 832-8654

http://nbindustrial.org/

Lodging

Fairfield Inn and Suites Plainville  (map it!)

400 New Britain Rd.

Plainville, CT 06062

(860) 747-1188

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bdlpv-fairfield-inn-and-suites-plainville/

Red Roof Inn New Britain-Farmington  (map it!)

65 Columbus Blvd.

New Britain, CT 06037

(860) 348-1463

https://www.redroof.com/property/New-Britain/CT/06051/-/RRI857/

Holiday Inn Express Newington  (map it!)

2553 Berlin Turnpike

Newington, CT 06111

(860) 372-4000

https://www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/us/en/newington/bdlnc/hoteldetail

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