After Gov. Andrew Cuomo seemingly announced a new name last week for the Syracuse Chiefs, Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney is telling NewsChannel 9 the team will become the Syracuse Mets in 2019.
The new name will match the new ownership, the New York Mets.
Chiefs General Manager Jason Smorol says he could not comment on a specific new name, but reiterates what he told NewsChannel 9 last week – that the team will go through the name-change process after playing this upcoming season as the Chiefs.
Mahoney also says that a new look is being considered for NBT Bank Stadium.
As part of Chiefs’ ownership, the Mets takeover the seven years left on the contract between the Chiefs and the county-owned ballpark.
“I’ve seen renderings of what the Mets would like the stadium to look like. So we’re in the process now of conversations negotiating what the county might be willing to do to improve the stadium, in exchange for the Mets signing a 20 or 25 year-long lease. Because that’s the ultimate goal.”
Mahoney will leave it up to the Mets to unveil specific plans, but the county hired an architect to develop ideas ranging from new lighting to more club-like areas for fans to get out of their seats. Mahoney will then gauge what fans want and how much the County Legislature is willing to spend.
Mahoney says, “I had the opportunity to tour Citi Field and I do know they have a real focus on the fan experience and it might be fun for people to go to baseball games in Syracuse and experience it the way the Mets do it in New York City.”