Governor Lamont Urges MLB to Reconsider Plan Overhauling Minor League System and Eliminating Teams, Including Connecticut Tigers
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today delivered the following letter to the commissioner of Major League Baseball urging reconsideration of a plan to overhaul the minor league baseball system and eliminate 42 teams, including the Connecticut Tigers:
December 3, 2019
Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr.
Dear Commissioner Manfred:
I am writing to express my strong opposition to Major League Baseball’s plan to cut more than 40 minor league franchises from its lineup, including the Connecticut Tigers – a team that calls Norwich’s Dodd Stadium home. Since 1995, Norwich has proudly been home to a minor league baseball team, and its elimination from the city would be devastating to the thousands of baseball fans in the southeastern region of our state who enjoy attending games each season.
The Connecticut Tigers are a valuable component of our state as the team provides families with an affordable sports and entertainment opportunity within their own local communities. That support from the community was proven just last year when the City of Norwich made an $800,000 investment to upgrade Dodd Stadium – a decision that was made because they recognize the advantages of having the league in this city.
I am a lifelong baseball fan myself, and it is apparent how beneficial a robust minor league system has been for the game. These organizations provide the foundation for the outstanding on-field product we see in major league ballparks across the country.
The elimination of this team would prevent thousands of fans in this region from attending professional baseball games and enjoying this great American pastime, which many of us have grown up with and valued throughout our lives. As you are fully aware, Connecticut does not host a Major League Baseball team, but supports three franchises in the Northeast. Attending minor league games provides our residents with an easily accessible option that is a short drive from their homes and schools. Norwich is nearly a two-hour drive to the nearest MLB team: 98 miles to Fenway Park, 127 miles to Yankee Stadium, and 130 miles to Citi Field. MLB benefits greatly from the support of the community, and that includes the millions of fans who attend minor league games every season. Without these teams, fans throughout the country will not have an opportunity to attend a professional baseball game.
I strongly urge you to reconsider the proposed plan. Minor League Baseball is a tradition that towns throughout the country value and appreciate, especially here in Connecticut.
Please reach out to my office if I can be of any assistance regarding your decision on this matter.