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SI Yankees map out ballpark improvements

Staten Island YankeesThe Staten Island Yankees (short season A; NY-Penn League) are going local for 2015 as part of general ballpark upgrades that will see more local craft beers and barbecue, as the area around the ballpark will generate big changes in 2017.

The NY Wheel and an outlet mall are expected to open next to Richmond County Bank Ballpark in 2017, generating a lot more potential foot traffic at the ballpark. (As you can see from the link, the NY Wheel is one of those monster Ferris wheels currently all the rage in cities like London, Las Vegas and Orlando.) SI Yankees CEO Steven Violetta has a master plan to make the ballpark a year-round destination, with baseball and a zipline in the summer and ice skating in the winter.

Before that sort of master plan happens, however, changes for 2015 needs to be implemented. Some, like a new Craft Beer Central and a barbecue stand, should be ready for the 2015 season, installed down the right-field line. Others, like the zipline, require city approval and probably wouldn’t be ready before 2016. The SI Yankees also are licensed to see hard alcohol at a single stand, which could be upgraded to a more upscale tequila or margarita bar.

It’s all about making the venue into a year-round destination, according to Violetta, who is already working on big events after hiring an coordinator. From

“When the Wheel and the outlets are online, all of a sudden that right field location becomes our second front door. …I think the sky is the limit, with all the traffic the Wheel and outlet mall will draw here, there are so many different opportunities,” he said.

“We are looking at gradually making that side of the ballpark a place people want to go. In the long-term we need some 24/7 365 (days of the year) type of programming because we need to be more than just a baseball stadium for four months out of the year,” he added….

“This is all going along the right field corridor in anticipation of the Wheel. By the time they get here in 2017 we will have that side all built up with games, restaurants and bars. It will be a fun zone for everybody.”

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