The three finalists: Ferry Hawks, Harbor Heroes and Dragon Slayers. These are the three names emerging from a name-the-team process that drew 2,000 submissions and 4,000 votes. The team will play at Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George, former home of the Staten Island Yankees (Short Season A; NY-Penn League).
The three finalists were announced last night by Eric Shuffler, president of Staten Island Entertainment LLC, on the WABC Radio “Cats At Night” show, hosted by John Catsimatidis. You can listen to the show here:
The reactions are pretty interesting; the voting didn’t necessarily go how SIE leaders anticipated. We had a chance to talk with Shuffler about how the name-the-team deliberations were going:
“The level of excitement and interest, and the quality of submissions, surprised me,” he said. “They were really thoughtful, with themes of positivity on how they wanted Staten Island to be portrayed. The community feeling is a big part of what we are building here.”
For Shuffler, bring the team and renovating the ballpark is his full-time job; he chatted while at Richmond County Bank Ballpark performing the many tasks involved with a relaunch; the money spent on ballpark upgrades will both be noticeable (such as a new synthetic turf, allowing for more year-round events) and behind the scenes, such as HVAC upgrades. The goal is to turn the facility into more than just a ballpark, but rather a community resource hosting a wide variety of events, including other sports, youth baseball, concerts and more. He’s also been out promoting the team at a wide variety of community events.
Getting out to promote the new team is a “way to learn and to get a pulse on things,” Shuffler added. Four team names–Responders, Front Liners, Watch Dogs and Greenbelters–did not make the cut, but some will make an appearance as special promotions.
Voting on the final name ends next week, with the team name announced mid-November.
Staten Island Entertainment is led by John Catsimatidis, head of the Gristedes Foods grocery chain. His ownership group includes Shuffler; Dany Garcia, chairwoman and owner of the XFL; SNL performers Pete Davidson, Colin Jost and Michael Che; with both Yankee Global Enterprises and RedBird Capital Partners involved. New York City Economic Development Corporation is funding ballpark upgrades
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