Onondaga County lawmakers are closer to voting on a proposed 25-year lease extension with the Syracuse Mets (Class AAA; International League), and approval would pave the way for ballpark renovations.
The New York Mets, owner and parent club of the Syracuse Mets, and Onondaga County have been discussing long-term plans for NBT Bank Stadium that would include a 25-year lease extension and $25 million in future renovations. Under the current plans, the Mets would extend their lease for the ballpark through 2043, while the county would oversee a $25 million renovation project over the coming years.
Both the proposed lease extension and an $8.5 million bond measure to help pay for ballpark improvements will go before the county legislature’s Ways and Means Committee on Friday. The committee is expected to move the measures to the full Onondaga County Legislature, which is expected to make its vote on July 2. More from Syracuse.com:
The rent payments will roughly cover the county’s annual cost of operating NBT Bank Stadium, [County Executive Ryan] McMahon said. Concession revenues will be kept by the Mets, he said.
All told, the Mets will pay $6.1 million over the 25 years, ending in 2043. If the Mets leave Syracuse for any reason before then, the team is responsible to pay the full amount, McMahon said.
County officials are confident the Mets will stay in Syracuse. Over the next couple years, the county will oversee a $25 million renovation of NBT Bank Stadium. Half will be funded by New York state, the other half by Onondaga County.
Most of the work should begin next year, McMahon said. Details of the renovation will be worked out by county officials and the Mets after the financing is approved and consultants can be hired, he said.
Prior to the 2018 season, the Mets purchased the then Syracuse Chiefs, though it did not trigger an immediate affiliation shift. The Chiefs played the 2018 season as a Washington Nationals’ affiliate, while the Mets fulfilled the final season of their player development contract (PDC) with the then Las Vegas 51s (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League). Last fall, the Mets announced that the Syracuse franchise would be rebranded as the Mets.
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