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SNL performers part of Staten Island Atlantic League ownership

Staten Island ferris wheel

We’re learning more about the investors bringing a new Atlantic League team in 2022 to Staten Island and Richmond County Bank Ballpark, as the group will reportedly include three high-profile Saturday Night Live performers and, on some level, the New York Yankees.

As reported by the venerable Cindy Adams in the New York Post, the group bringing an MLB Partner League team to Staten Island will indeed be led by John Catsimatidis, head of the Gristedes Foods grocery chain, and include New Jersey politician Eric Shuffler and Dany Garciachairwoman and owner of the XFL. Adams is focusing on Garcia’s status as Dwayne Johnson’s ex-wife, but that’s a little unfair; she’s a successful businessperson on her own.

It’s the additions to this ownership group that is raising some eyebrows. First, the fact that Yankee Global Enterprises is involved on some level in this effort–Adams says they are “players” in the new Atlantic League team, along with private equity firm RedBird Capital Partners–is a little surprising. (There are a host of connections between Yankee Global Enterprises and the RedBird, including the original formation of the YES Network and Legends Hospitality.) The Staten Island Yankees (Short Season A; NY-Penn League) did not make the cut from 160 MiLB teams to 120 because the Yankees did not make an effort to save the team, leading team owners to fold operations and file suit against the Yankees and Major League Baseball. (This was a lawsuit with claims specific to the Yankees and the original decision for the city to fund the ballpark, including a pledge by the Steinbrenners to retain an interest in running a team there.)

The other surprise is the inclusion of three high-profile Saturday Night Live performers in the investment group: Staten Island native Pete Davidson, as well as Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost (also born in Staten Island and a former Staten Island Advance reporter) and Michael Che, a New York City native. That’s a lot of firepower for a team that may need some boost to cut through the New York City media noise.

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