New minor league baseball team officially headed to Staten Island next year
America’s pastime will return to Staten Island next year. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday a plan to reopen the former Staten Island Yankees stadium with a new minor league baseball team. The Richmond County Bank Ballpark did not open in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. This year, the waterfront stadium sat empty after Major League Baseball removed the “Baby Bombers” from its parent team as part of a reorganization of its farm system.
“Baseball is back on Staten Island,” de Blasio said. “This ballpark has the potential to unite Staten Islanders around the home team and attract visitors from across the city and the region. We’re proud to secure a long-term future for this venue and build a recovery for all of us on Staten Island.”
As part of the deal, the team will play in the Atlantic League instead of the NY-Penn League. A group called Staten Island Entertainment (SIE) owns the new team, which will be named with input from the community and local elected officials.
As reported by Ballpark Digest, SIE is made up of several investors, including billionaire businessman and real estate developer John Catsimatdis, SNL cast members Pete Davidson, Colin Jost, and Michael Che, political advisor Eric Shuffler, owner of the XFL Dany Garcia, with support from Yankee Global Enterprises and RedBird Capital Partners.
“This is one of the most exciting ventures I have ever been a part of,” Catsimatidis said. “We will bring family entertainment back to the people of Staten Island, boost the local economy and see our team conquer the Atlantic League.”
Ahead of the 2022 season, the city’s Economic Development Corporation and SIE will make necessary renovations and upgrades to the St. George stadium’s seating and concourse, in addition to installing synthetic turf.
As THE CITY reported last month, the city has estimated the cost of renovating the stadium to be roughly $8 million, with about a quarter of that earmarked for paying off “past and future upkeep costs,” like water and gas bills.
In addition to baseball games, the stadium will host annual events, including concerts and festivals.