This isn’t quite the hot news as being reported, but it’s nice to see city efforts continue to bring an Atlantic League team to Richmond County Bank Ballpark, former home of the Staten Island Yankees (Short Season A; NY-Penn League).
We’ve been covering the SI Yankees saga since the MiLB reorganization of MLB and the decision to exclude the team from the final roster of 120 minor-league teams. In the end, the SI Yankees owners decided to fold the team and sued the New York Yankees and Major League Baseball. In the meantime, last November the city’s New York City Economic Development Corp. began discussions of spending $5 million in Richmond County Bank Ballpark upgrades in contemplation for the ballpark’s use by an Atlantic League team.
In an online report, the city is moving closer to a deal to bring in the MLB Partner League for 2022 to what’s arguably a top-five ballpark when it comes to scenery, as the Atlantic League continues to add markets for next season and beyond. That this was fairly inevitable was clear in November 2021: The ballpark is functional and has plenty of potential, and adding a team there would fit nicely into the team’s footprint, which is now smaller–and perhaps much more manageable–after the loss of the Sugar Land Skeeters. That footprint currently runs from North Carolina and West Virginia to the New York City area, and other as-yet-announced markets within that footprint are looking at the Atlantic League as well. A Staten Island team would be a nice travel partner for the Long Island Ducks.
RELATED STORIES: Staten Island Yankees fold, will sue MLB; Upgrades, Atlantic League in works for Staten Island ballpark; SI Yankees “shocked” by Yankees affiliate decision; Yankees announce affiliate changes in first glimpse of MiLB overhaul