SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) The Onondaga County Legislature is expected to vote Tuesday on a 25-year lease agreement with the Syracuse Mets.
Lawmakers will also be voting on a renovation package for NBT Bank Stadium, which opened in April of 1997.
The $25 million project would be split between the County and New York State.
The lease and renovations have been discussed by the Mets and County for several months, but they’re now about to have it all finalized.
“We’ve taken time to get to know each other better and really take the time to make sure this is a lease is something we’re both comfortable with, which we are. And really, right now on the $25 million project, we need the approval to get the funds going so we can really define out what this project is going to look like,” says Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon.
He says the concepts are to enhance the fan experience, which would create more revenue-generating opportunities.
Details of the renovation project won’t be known until lawmakers authorize money for the project and architects and engineers start to put specific plans together and a cost to them.
McMahon says it will include things like removing seats and repurposing those areas for better fan experience.
There is also a very strong possibility of building something for fans behind the leftfield fence, like a party deck.
New sports lighting is also likely to be included in any package.
“We don’t try to make our money from the lease, we try to make it from the economic impact,” McMahon tells NewsChannel 9.
He says in the Mets first year in Syracuse, they have already upped the level of talent on the field and that has translated to more people in the stands.
“The attendance is higher, we think that’s good for us, it’s good for the Mets. And we believe with a new venue that really meets the needs of what the fans want to see moving forward it will really be more of a destination for families,” he says.
He adds work could start this year, with the project being phased in over the next two years with the project finished in 2021.
Fans can also expect to see a new grass field either next year or the following year, paid for by the Mets.
The County will then pay to replace that grass with another new field eight years later.