WEYMOUTH, Mass. -- The Futures Collegiate Baseball League and Commissioner Joe Paolucci have announced the addition of the New Britain Bees as an expansion team for the 2020 season.
The Bees join the collegiate ranks for the first time after playing in the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball for the last four seasons, giving the Futures League seven teams for the coming summer.
The Bees filled the baseball void at the 6,146-seat New Britain Stadium in 2016 after the New Britain Rock Cats moved up the road to become the Hartford Yard Goats following the previous season. During their time in New Britain, the Rock Cats were a Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins (1995-2014) and Colorado Rockies (2015).
“We are excited to have the New Britain Bees as part of our league,” Paolucci said. “They have a fantastic ownership group, a top-notch facility and a great fan base that will love what we have to offer in the Futures League.”
New Britain’s baseball history also included a Boston Red Sox affiliate from 1983-93. It had spent the previous decade playing at Muzzy Field in Bristol, the home of the Futures League’s former Bristol Blues. The New Britain Red Sox played at Beehive Field, which is still located next to New Britain Stadium and primarily hosts the city’s high school teams today.
The “Bees” name is a nod to the city’s civic motto which states that “industry fills the hive and enjoys the honey.” New Britain’s nickname is the “Hardware City” because of its industrial history and serving as the world headquarters of Stanley Black & Decker.
In conjunction with the announcement of the team’s move to the Futures League, it was also announced that New Britain will host the FCBL All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 14. The event was last held in Connecticut in 2017.
Anthony Iacovone and his existing ownership group will remain in control of the franchise as the Bees transition into their new league.
In addition to heading the Bees’ five-person ownership group, Iacovone is considered to be a leading voice in the area of mobile integration. He launched and is the co-founder of AdTheorent, a digital advertising company using user identity mapping and data-driven predictive solutions to deliver targeted advertising solutions.
The Futures League was founded in 2011 and is a wood-bat league featuring top collegiate baseball players from New England and throughout the country. In addition to New Britain, the league now includes teams based in Brockton, Lynn, Pittsfield, Worcester, Westfield, MA and Nashua, NH.
New Britain becomes the second new Futures League franchise in as many years after the Westfield Starfires completed their inaugural season in 2019. The Bees are also the third-ever league club based in Connecticut, following the Blues (2015-19) and Torrington Titans (2011-16).
The Bees, who averaged 2,080 fans per game during their final season as a professional franchise, fit perfectly within the Futures League’s regional footprint and mission of providing quality, affordable entertainment throughout New England. Overall, Futures League games have drawn an average crowd of at least 1,200 over the last three summers.
For more information on the Bees, visit nbbees.com and follow them on Facebook (New Britain Bees), Twitter and Instagram (both @NewBritainBees).
For more information on the Futures League, visit thefuturesleague.com and follow them on Facebook (The Futures League), Twitter (@FuturesLeague) and Instagram (@futuresleagueofnewengland).