The Syracuse Mets (Class AAA; International League) will call an upgraded NBT Bank Stadium home for years to come, as Onondaga County officials have approved a 25-year lease extension and $25 million in future renovations.
The New York Mets, owner and parent club of the Syracuse Mets, and Onondaga County have been mapping out long-term plans for NBT Bank Stadium that include a 25-year lease extension and $25 million in future upgrades. As part of that agreement, the Mets will extend their lease for the ballpark through 2043, while the county will oversee a $25 million renovation project over the coming years.
On Tuesday, the Onondaga County Legislature moved those plans forward by approving the lease extension and funding mechanisms to cover the future renovations to NBT Bank Stadium. While final approval was expected leading up to the vote, county lawmakers ultimately voted by a wide margin to back the plans. More from Syracuse.com:
The county Legislature approved the long-term lease, the expenditure of $16.1 million on renovations, and a bond issuance of $8.5 million to cover the rest of the $25 million project. Half of the total cost will be paid by New York state, and at least $3.6 million is expected to be recovered from a sale of naming rights in 2026.
The legislature’s approval was not a surprise. The formal vote on each measure was 16-1, with only Legislator Tom Buckel, D-Syracuse, opposing the measures. Buckel has consistently criticized the stadium renovation plan on the grounds that the 1993 decision to build a stadium on the North Side, rather than downtown, was a mistake than can’t be rectified. Other legislators lauded the Mets deal, saying it will ensure the long-term viability of baseball in Syracuse.
The 2019 season marks the first year that the former Syracuse Chiefs franchise is playing as the Syracuse Mets. Fans have been responding to the changes positively thus far, and the combination of a lease extension and future ballpark upgrades could help that momentum continue going forward.
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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