The city of Norwich, Conn., is close to bringing baseball back to town just four months after seeing the Double-A Connecticut Defenders relocate to Richmond.
The Norwich Baseball Stadium Authority on Monday approved a letter of intent with the New York-Penn League to relocate one of the short-season circuit's teams to town in time for Opening Day 2010. The letter of intent outlines a lease agreement, but actual terms would have to be negotiated between the city and team, The Day newspaper reported.
No word of which team is coming to Norwich, though NYPL commissioner Ben Hayes will be able to dictate who gets to negotiate with the city.
During the 2009 season, Vermont owner Ray Pecor Jr. expressed doubt over the team's future if Centennial Field were not renovated. The Burlington Press unearthed a 2007 report for Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig that detailed many of the ballparks problems, including a pitching mound that was not regulation sized and that two basepaths exceeded 90 feet.
Batavia was saved from bankruptcy by Triple-A Rochester during the 2008 offseason, and the Red Wings operated the club last season. The team finished second to last in attendance with a 963 average—ahead of only Oneonta (692). Former Oneonta owner Sam Nader sold the club in July 2008 to Miles Prentice. At the time, Nader said the sale would keep the team in town through at least 2010.
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