The Syracuse Chiefs are no more, as the team has officially rebranded as the Syracuse Mets (Class AAA; International League).
A rebranding of the club had been expected for months, and it coincides with some other major changes to Syracuse’s long-time Minor League Baseball franchise. The New York Mets purchased the team prior to this season, a move that effectively allows them to make Syracuse their Triple-A affiliate for 2019 and beyond.
The Chiefs name has a very long history, but the switch over to the Mets will create a more apparent connection between the franchise and its owner/parent club. The Syracuse Mets branding was unveiled at the team’s NBT Bank Stadium on Tuesday, during a press conference that included New York governor Andrew Cuomo. More from Syracuse.com:
Syracuse’s baseball teams have been called the Chiefs every season since 1934, with the exception of a period from 1997 to 2006 when the team was the Syracuse SkyChiefs and affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays.
While traditionalists may not like the name change, such sentiment now takes a distant back seat in these decisions. The Mets want a fresh, new look in 2019 to juice merchandise sales and fuel excitement. Changing names and logos is part of the takeover, especially since New York owns the franchise.
Syracuse played the 2018 season as an affiliate of the Washington Nationals, fulfilling the final season of a player development contract, so 2019 will be its first year as a Mets affiliate. The Mets are currently locked into a lease through the 2025 season, but a proposed NBT Bank Stadium renovation could lead to an extension through 2043 if the plans move forward.
— Syracuse Mets (@SyracuseMets) October 16, 2018
This announcement is part of what should be a fairly busy offseason for Minor League Baseball team rebrands that take effect for 2019. The Buies Creek Astros’ (High A; Carolina League) name will change to reflect their move to Fayetteville, while new names are also set to be unveiled for the former Helena Brewers (Rookie; Pioneer League) and San Antonio Missions (Class AA; Texas League) franchises as they prepare for their first seasons in Colorado Springs and Amarillo, respectively. The Las Vegas 51s (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) are also expected to announce new branding as they gear up for the opening of a new ballpark in 2019.
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