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Binghamton Rumble Ponies have a new owner, new lease agreement at Mirabito Stadium

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

Date:

The Binghamton Rumble Ponies, Double-A affiliate of the New York Mets, on Monday announced that David Sobotka of Southpaw Resources, LLC is the new team’s new owner, taking over for John Hughes, Jr. of Evans Street Baseball, which bought the club in December 2015. The Rumble Ponies have also signed a new 23-year lease extension at Mirabito Stadium in Binghamton. (Photo credit: Binghamton Rumble Ponies Twitter page)

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — The Binghamton Rumble Ponies, the AA affiliate of the New York Mets, on Monday announced new ownership and a new lease agreement at Mirabito Stadium.

New owner

Effective Nov. 23, New York City–based Southpaw Resources LLC, led by David Sobotka, has assumed ownership of the Rumble Ponies from John Hughes, Jr. of Evans Street Baseball.

The team’s news release didn’t include any financial terms of the transaction.

“We are beyond thrilled to join the Rumble Ponies and Mets family and be part of the bright future of professional baseball in Binghamton for many years to come,” Sobotka said. “We will work tirelessly to keep earning the support of the entire Binghamton and Southern Tier communities while continuing to bring an exceptional baseball experience to fans and players alike.”

Sobotka also announced that John (JB) Bayne will stay on and continue as the general manager of the Rumble Ponies, along with the entire staff who will remain in their current roles with the team.

New lease, stadium improvements

Binghamton Mayor Richard David and the Rumble Ponies have also announced a 23-year lease extension at Mirabito Stadium. The team says Sobotka worked with Mayor David to extend the lease for Mirabito Stadium.

As part of the agreement, $3.1 million has been allocated to bring the stadium into compliance with Major League Baseball’s (MLB) new facility standards.

The New York Mets Double-A team, which has been playing in downtown Binghamton since 1992, will now play their homes games at Mirabito Stadium through 2045.

“Signing a long-term lease is the final piece in securing baseball in Binghamton for a generation and beyond. Today’s announcement means the rising stars of Major League Baseball will continue to thrill fans and families at Mirabito Stadium for decades,” Mayor David said. “I thank John Hughes for his leadership tenure with the franchise and I’m excited about the next chapter of professional baseball in Binghamton.”

In the coming weeks and months, Southpaw Resources will be focused on working with the City of Binghamton on plans to improve Mirabito Stadium to meet the new MLB standards. “Not that long ago, the future of baseball in our community was in doubt. Keeping our team was a win, but it meant meeting Major League Baseball’s new facility standards,” David said. With City Hall as an active partner in Binghamton’s baseball future, we’re making the necessary investments at Mirabito Stadium to secure a long-term lease extension. Working with David Sobotka, we’ve built the groundwork for a smooth transition, and more importantly, made sure Binghamton’s stadium can host future Major League Baseball stars for the next generation.”