NEW YORK -- With New York state luminaries and high-ranking Mets officials in attendance in Syracuse on Tuesday, the Mets announced a pending agreement to keep the organization's Triple-A affiliate there for at least the next quarter century. The Mets intend to sign a 25-year lease at NBT Bank Stadium,
NEW YORK -- With New York state luminaries and high-ranking Mets officials in attendance in Syracuse on Tuesday, the Mets announced a pending agreement to keep the organization's Triple-A affiliate there for at least the next quarter century. The Mets intend to sign a 25-year lease at NBT Bank Stadium, on which the state of New York, Onondaga County and the city of Syracuse plan to spend $26.25 million in renovations.
The team also announced that the Syracuse Chiefs will be rebranded the Syracuse Mets, effective immediately.
"This has been a long road to get here," Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said. "It's a really exciting day for our franchise. I can't tell you how much we appreciate everything that's been done here for the Mets and for us here in Syracuse. It's amazing to see the change and growth that's happening here in central New York, and especially Syracuse. We're proud to be part of this community, and I give you my word that we will stay, and be here, and be part of this community for a long time coming."
Following six seasons with their top Minor League affiliate in Las Vegas, which presented numerous logistical issues, the Mets purchased the Syracuse Chiefs to ensure they would have a future home. They are now investing in their purchase. On hand Tuesday to make the announcement were Wilpon, general manager John Ricco and manager Mickey Callaway, as well as many New York state, county and civic government officials.
Stadium improvements "will be focused on the in-seat and in-venue experience, with an emphasis on technology," according to a release. The Mets also plan to renovate the stadium's team stores and improve its food and beverage vendors, with a focus on local products.
For New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who wore a royal blue Mets jacket handed down to him by his father, Mario Cuomo, the renovation is part of a greater commitment to making upstate New York a regional destination.
"Baseball has been engrained in Syracuse's history for more than 80 years, and this critically important investment will ensure that it remains an Amazin' part of this community's future for decades to come," Cuomo said in a statement. "By renovating this stadium, we are going to attract new and old fans alike, generate economic activity and increase tourism across the region and help foster the next generation of baseball greats."
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.