New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper

The Sports Journal

Rock Cats Ready for 2014 Season

As the New Britain Rock Cats prepare for another season, they will have a new face leading the charge behind the scenes. That person is Tim Restall, who was named general manager on May 7. Although Restall was around most of last season, this is his first full offseason with the club and is using it to his full advantage.

Three of his main goals going into this season is to focus on the guests’ experience when coming to a Rock Cats game and making sure it the best in all of minor league baseball, work with more local non-profits to help raise money and awareness for their cause, and to increase the way local businesses can utilize a partnership with the Rock Cats for promotions, employee and customer appreciation.

Restall first got involved in Minor League Baseball when he worked for the Single-A West Michigan Whitecaps, an affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. There, he was the Food and Beverage Manager from 2000 – 2003. In addition to that, he oversaw the food service operation at the Berlin Raceway in Michigan. In 2004, he moved to the Eastern League and was a member of the front office staff during the New Hampshire Fisher Cats first season, serving as the Director of Food and Beverage.

In 2005, Restall became the General Manager for Centerplate, which is the official food and beverage provider of the Fisher Cats. He held this position through the 2007 season before becoming the Vice President of Business Operations for the Fisher Cats in 2008.

Being involved in Minor League Baseball for so long, he understands there is a fine line between winning and development. While the ultimate goal is to win, there is a lot more focus on developing players. Despite the players that come and go throughout the year, Restall knows that it is the stadium atmosphere that will keep on bringing people back.

“Fortunately the Minnesota Twins handle all of the player details, which allow us to focus on the fun things – the guest experience here at the ballpark,” he said. “The guest experience ranges from making sure the hot dogs are hot, Pepsi is cold, the stadium is clean, the in-between inning promotions are fun, the video board has eye catching graphics, the on-field host is exciting, and more.”

The Rock Cats are also planning for several new promotions this season. Restall said that they will be showcasing a new on-field alternate logo, Elvis Rocky, which is Rocky singing into a bat as a microphone stand. It will be the first minor league baseball on-field logo cap that incorporates metallic thread into the stitching.

They also will have new entertainment, such as a new in-between inning promotion called “Gold Burgers Build-a-Burger” where four lucky fans are dressed up in oversized hamburger bun suits and race to make a life size burger. In August, they will have a new national act, Fur Circus, who will perform at a game.

In addition to all of that, they will sell Kayem Hot Dogs for $1 on Tuesdays and on “Rock ‘n’ Roll Saturdays,” they will have a local band performing in front of the stadium before the game. On Sundays, kids will get the chance to run the bases after the game.

Through all of this and more, Restall, who resides in Rocky Hill with his wife, Tara, and three children: Timmy, Matthew and William, plans to continue to make the Rock Cats the center of the community.

“The local community is very important to the Rock Cats. I really view New Britain Stadium as the local community center. Bill Dowling did a fantastic job ingraining the Rock Cats organization in the community,” he said. “I plan to use the same road map that he has created. Whether you are attending a Rock Cats game as a ticket fundraiser for a local non-profit, having a picnic with your company, marching on the field in your little league parade, performing an on-field dance act or enjoying a game with your family, the Rock Cats are at the center of the community.”