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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Navigators Facing Relocation?

Connecticut fans have it good - lots of good minor league venues to choose from, including the Can-Am league, Atlantic League, several NECBL teams, and two good affiliated AA Eastern League teams: the New Britain Rock Cats (Twins) and the Norwich Navigators (Giants). I like both venues, each for different reasons, but New Britain has been much more successful at generating fan support than Norwich - especially since the Navigators' affiliation with the NY Yankees ended several years ago.
The Navigator's Dodd Stadium, while no miracle of design, is functional and has good sight lines - but is located deep inside an office and industrial park, off the beaten path. The current affiliation, with the SF Giants, lacks any real local or east coast ties. If you have attended any Navigators games the past few years, you know that attendance has been an issue for the team. Today, there is a story that the franchise's new owner is considering moving the team if attendance does not improve.

Since I never been to a minor league stadium or game I haven't liked, my opinion doesn't count for much. But I really enjoy going down to Norwich, I hope they stay there, and I hope the local community and institutions can find ways to support the team better and keep them there.