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New ballpark pitched in Ramapo for Can-Am team

Ramapo (N.Y.) officials say they’re willing to spend $25.5 million on a new ballpark for an expansion team in the indy circuit.

Ramapo (N.Y.) officials say they’re willing to spend $25.5 million on a new 3,500-seat ballpark for an expansion team in the independent Can-Am Association and are already planning on an opening date of June 1, 2011 for the facility.

Ramapo is located some 40 miles outside New York City, 30 miles from Yonkers and 45 miles from Wappingers Falls, the home of the Hudson Valley Renegades (short season; NY-Penn League). That city officials were promising a Can-Am team was news to several Can-Am owners we contacted over the weekend.

Still. the Ramapo folks we contacted were confident of coming to a lease with a Can-Am team. They’re already pitching $12 and $7 ticket prices in a fan-friendly atmosphere. We have to wonder how realistic some of their expectations are: city officials say they’ll have no problem selling 25 (!) suites at a time when suite sales have slumped across the entire industry. 

The new ballpark, as designed by DLR Group, would cost $17.5 million. Another $8 million would be spent on the acquisition of 67 acres for the ballpark site, raising the total project cost to $25.5 million. The city will bond the project but expects proceeds from the team lease to pay back the bonds, which raises the question of how much a Can-Am team is expected to pay under the lease — as opposed to how much revenue the team can generate in a 50-game season. UPDATE: Crunching the numbers: It will take $700,000-$800,000 just for debt service on $25 million in bonds on a 20-year repayment schedule using current interest rates. No way this deal works without a lease where the city eats at least half the cost of the ballpark.

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