Pending the approval of Onondaga County, the Syracuse Chiefs (Class AAA; International League) could be staying at NBT Bank Stadium through 2026.
The Chiefs have undergone some transitions over the last few years, headlined by general manager Jason Smorol‘s arrival as part of an ownership change before the 2014 season. Currently, per-game average attendance is up slightly from a year ago–3,904 per game through 46 openings, as compared to 3,803 in 2015–and the team is looking to remain in Syracuse on a longer-term agreement.
Under the proposed lease with the county, the Chiefs would submit a higher annual rent, while the county would pay for both utilities and maintenance, costs that are presently covered by the team. With those terms plus a few other concessions in the deal, both sides sound satisfied with the framework. More from News Channel 9:
“They wanted to buy the baseball stadium and then not have a lease, that’s not the case anymore,” Onondaga County Legislature Chair Ryan McMahon tells NewsChannel 9.
Chiefs General Manager Jason Smorol says, “Its all focused on keeping the Chiefs here for our community and doing everything it does from civic pride with us going to other communities with Syracuse across our chest to the economic development of having a team here and what that provides and just overall quality of life here in Central New York.”
The new deal also includes a revenue reinvestment program, where a percentage of the money the Chiefs make above $3.5 million dollars goes back into the Stadium and or surrounding neighborhood.
The fourth major piece of the deal is a lease termination payment where the County would recoup concession costs its making during the new contract, and tacks on 7% interest to deter moving the team.
Final approval of the lease will have to come before the Onondaga County Legislature.