SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - The Syracuse Chiefs are signaling a marked turnaround with their budget woes.
The baseball team is reporting a small profit for the 2016 season.
Three years ago, the team was $1 million in the red and today, the organization has a $67,000 profit.
Syracuse Chiefs General Manager Jason Smorol says, "One year of a little bit of profit does not solve everything. We have to sustain, we have to grow it and we have a lot of work left to do."
Smorol says revenue is up, but expenses are also down.
It’s due in large part to a reworked lease with Onondaga County that will keep the team here until at least 2026.
The new deal increases the lease payment the county gets from the Chiefs for use of NBT Bank Stadium.
In turn, the county takes back the cost of utilities and field maintenance at the ballpark.
Smorol tells NewsChannel 9, "Part of that re-negotiation of the lease is that the more profitable the Chiefs are, then it comes into a clause where we're able to reinvest back into the community, back into the stadium."
Despite a rough year on the field, the team still drew just shy of 275,000 people, the third straight increase in Smorol’s three year run with the Chiefs.
Smorol says, "We see that the fun and commitment to customer service and the promotions work so we're doubling down. We're going to keep doing what we've been doing. The things that have been less successful they're going to change and get altered and the things that have been successful we're going to do those bigger and better."
The team is looking forward to Opening Day, April 6, which just happens to fall on “Dollar Thursday”.
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