SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Phase one renovations at NBT Bank Stadium, home to the Syracuse Mets, are well underway during this off-season.
As part of the Mets agreeing back in 2017 to stay in Syracuse for the next 25 years was a deal to make improvements to the nearly quarter century old baseball stadium.
The $25 million project is being funded equally by Onondaga County and New York State.
The first thing you’ll notice as part of phase one of work is a new paint job visible from the parking lot of the stadium. Familiar Mets blue and orange are prominent on stadium fixtures, like the light stands.
On the inside of the stadium, almost all the seats have been taken out to make room for brand new ones to be installed next year before opening day.
Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon says, “It’s great. We see progress, so it’s cool when you know what the stadium was before and you can see the improvements being done incrementally.”
Crews are now power washing the stands and taking out any leftover screws, bolts, and leftover hardware from the seats.
The lights will be taken out and replaced with new LED lights from Syracuse’s own Ephesus Lighting in time for opening day.
“The fan experience that comes with that, different dynamic lighting scenes, also the quality of light for the players will be a lot better,” he tells NewsChannel 9.
The project also includes moving the leftfield fence in closer to home plate. It will not only make it better for hitters in the Mets organization, but will make a little extra room for the party plaza planned to be built there throughout next season and the next off season.
By the start of the 2021 season, fans will be able to walk around the entire perimeter of the ballpark and have more opportunities, including behind the outfield fence, to hang out and enjoy the game.
McMahon says, “At the end of the day, this will be a County Park that people will want to come to, even if you’re not big baseball fans, because there will be something here for everybody.”
Parts of the NBT Bank Stadium have been winterized so painting can continue the next few months.
“When we’re pitching companies to come and move to Central New York or to grow here, you need that entertainment infrastructure and to have a venue that is really a quality venue like this will be, with Triple A baseball, that helps us in our sales pitches that we make to people all the time,” McMahon adds.
Phase Two of the project includes the party deck and both interior and exterior improvements to the Hank Sauer Room.
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