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Red Wings Agree to New Frontier Field Lease

Rochester Red WingsA disagreement about a Frontier Field lease for 2018 and beyond has been resolved, as the Rochester Red Wings (Class AAA; International League) and Monroe County have agreed on the terms of a new deal.

Those terms aren’t public, but will be in the future, as it must eventually be approved by the County Legislature. For now, both Red Wings and Monroe County officials say the deal works for them. From the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle:

“I’m pleased to announce Frontier Field will be the home of the Red Wings for many years to come,” County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said at a late-afternoon news conference Tuesday. “We have finally reached a deal that is good for all concerned.”

The new lease, which has been agreed to in concept but not yet signed, will be for 10 years with a 10-year optional extension. No other details of the agreement were made public Tuesday….

Asked about her objections to some of the county’s demands, (Red Wings President and CEO Naomi] Silver declined again to provide any details, but said there had been compromises.

“We were both willing to give a little to make it work,” she said.

Monroe County is taking over as Frontier Field landlord, a role that had been served by the Greater Rochester Outdoor Sports Facility Corporation, and is looking to eliminate debt related to the ballpark.

The Red Wings have been working under a “in lieu of rent’’ agreement, in which certain revenue sources–including suite rentals, parking, and naming rights–go to the county. Silver says that the Red Wings, whose annual payment is between $900,000 and $1.1 million, want to begin paying a flat rent, but that the county asked to evaluate the team’s business operations to see if the team could generate more money under a new lease. While the Red Wings are fairly transparent about the team finances — it is controlled by a nonprofit — opening the books to the county was a nonstarter. It led to the team warning that it could move for the 2018 season.

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