There are still unresolved issues surrounding the financing and operations of Palisades Credit Union Park, but ownership of the ballpark’s tenant, the Rockland Boulders (independent; Can-Am League), says they’re in Ramapo, NY for the long haul.
Former Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence was convicted of defrauding investors through a false portrayal of the town’s finances. Specifically, the argument is that he and other city officials misstated the city’s financial state and the potential sources of revenue to repay bonds issued by the nonprofit Ramapo Local Development Corporation (PLDC). Those bonds were used to finance construction of Palisades Credit Union Park.
One fallout from the trial: some city officials want to look at closing down the ballpark, saying the Ramapo Local Development Corporation may not be able to afford running it at a loss.
That, of course, is a great concern to the Boulders ownership, and team executive vice president, general manager and limited partner Shawn Reilly met with the editorial board of the local newspaper to make the case for leaving the ballpark open. From Lohud.com:
“We’re definitely sustainable,” Reilly told the Editorial Board during a meeting on Wednesday….
Reilly understands that some locals remain skeptical of the facility. “We get it. It’s very emotional,” he said of the scandal that’s enveloped the town for several years. He said that he’s heard the resentment some residents still harbor. “It didn’t help us,” he said of the political maelstrom; the team also launched in 2011, as the region was still limping through the Great Recession. “We have faced more political headwinds than most teams would have, but since Day 1 we’ve focused on not focusing on that.”
In other words, Reilly said, the team isn’t going anywhere. (The team’s lease is for 20 years, with a five-year extension option.) “We’re here for the long haul. We’re part of the community.”
Of course, guilt by association is always at play when people decide where to spend their money, but at the end of the day there’s really no other use for a professional ballpark: the issue will be how to run it without incurring public losses.