HARTFORD, Conn. — What to do with a new $71 million minor league baseball stadium during the winter?
If you’re the Hartford Yard Goats, the Double-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, you turn to real goats. Time for goat yoga class.
Talk about a farm team.
The national phenomenon of goat yoga began in Oregon just over a year ago when students would assume poses such as downward dog while small goats would crawl around — and often on top of — the participants.
“You’re really connecting with the animals,” said Tracy Longoria, who partnered with the baseball team and also offers the classes on her Aussakita Acres farm in nearby Manchester, Connecticut. “The goats are just so therapeutic. It’s such a great stress reliever. Many of the people who do it have never done yoga before. They are just there for the interaction with the animals.”
Mike Abramson, the team’s general manager, said the club was looking for marketing opportunities. Yard Goat Yoga seemed the perfect match.
“It was an easy yes,” he said. “My expectation is that this is going to become a regular thing. Hey, if it’s popular enough, maybe we’ll just ditch the baseball and run a goat yoga park.”
The 6,100-seat Dunkin’ Donuts Park, which opened last spring, has a large indoor batting facility, which will be converted into a studio for the monthly classes. If things work out, Abramson said, and the team can persuade the groundskeepers to go along, classes will move to the outfield during the summer.