Rock Cats Bad, Stadium Great!

It doesn’t take a statistics geek to look at the Rock Cats record of 30-74 to determine they’re not very good. It seems that nearly every morning you can pick up the Hartford Courant and see the headline “Rock Cats Lose Late” or “Rock Cats Drop One in Extra Innings.” But does the Rock Cats’ terribleness keep people from the Hartford area from attending games in tremendous numbers? Absolutely not!

While their win-loss record is less than stellar, they continue to pack in the fans at New Britain Stadium. Attendance, when compared to the rest of the league, is about middle of the pack but the numbers have been consistently moving upward since 2000. Why is that? I’ve got some ideas:

  1. The fever for Red Sox and Yankees baseball this past decade has been ridiculously high and whenever their respective affiliates, Portland and Trenton, come to town, they fill up the stadium. People are excited to see the future players of Boston and New York! A few years ago there was a frenzy when Red Sox farm hand Hanley Ramirez arrived with Portland. While he eventually ended up getting traded to the Marlins, people came in droves to see the future MLB star. (Word is he actually hustled when playing for Portland.)
  2. If you have yet to attend a baseball game at New Britain Stadium, you’re truly missing out. It’s a beautiful building and a perfect place to watch a baseball game. Ticket prices are very inexpensive and you won’t feel gauged after buying a hot dog and soda for your kids. The Rock Cats have a deal where you can get 4 tickets, 4 sodas and 4 hot dogs for $30. That’s amazing! And to think, $30 in Boston might get you a parking spot. (In New York, $30 would get you spit on by a guy named Vinnie.)

If you’re just looking to get in and watch a game, general admission tickets are $5. If you want seats behind the dugout or behind home plate, tickets are $12-$15. I dare you to find better deals. Actually, don’t because it’s a waste of time.

So even though the future of the Minnesota Twins might not be bright with these guys coming up through the ranks, a Rock Cats game is still a fantastic way to spend an afternoon.