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New York Mets to buy Syracuse Chiefs, move Triple-A affiliate to Syracuse

By Eric Reinhardt


SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The New York Mets have closed on a deal to purchase the Syracuse Chiefs, with plans to move their Triple-A affiliate to Syracuse in 2019.

The deal means the Washington Nationals will have to move their Triple-A team from their current home in Syracuse after the 2018 season. 

A graphic on the message board at NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse during Tuesday’s announcement by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that the New York Mets have agreed to purchase the Syracuse Chiefs. The deal means the Mets will move their Triple-A affiliate to Syracuse starting in 2019. (Eric Reinhardt / BJNN)

The agreement, with negotiation support from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, ensures that the baseball team will continue to play at NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse through at least 2025, Cuomo’s office said in a news release issued Tuesday afternoon.

Cuomo on Tuesday made the announcement at NBT Bank Stadium.

Besides seven years of playing time at NBT Bank Stadium, Cuomo’s news release didn’t provide other details of the purchase agreement.

The Community Baseball Club of Central New York stockholders; professional baseball; and Onondaga County, which holds the lease to the stadium, must approve the transaction, Cuomo’s office said.

Active stockholders will “shortly” receive a voting proxy in the mail with details on the proposed transaction and instructions on how to vote by Nov. 17.

Besides Cuomo, those attending the announcement included Jeff Wilpon, COO of the New York Mets; Sandy Alderson, general manager of the Mets; John Ricco, assistant general manager of the  Mets; Jason Smorol, general manager of the Syracuse Chiefs; Bob Julian, chairman of the board of directors of the Community Baseball Club of Central New York Inc.; Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney; and Mets pitcher Matt Harvey.

Closer to NYC

For the past five seasons, the Mets have anchored their top affiliate in Las Vegas, in part because of a lack of available Triple-A teams close to New York City,

That changes with the franchise's purchase of Syracuse, which plays its home games at NBT Bank Stadium, about 260 miles from Citi Field.

The Mets currently have the longest travel distance in baseball between their big league and Triple-A parks, but will fall to the middle of the pack once they move.

The Mets’ Double-A affiliate is located nearby in Binghamton, and one of their Class A affiliates is in Brooklyn.

Before moving to Las Vegas, the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate was located in Buffalo. But the Bisons switched allegiances to the Toronto Blue Jays after the 2012 season, leaving the Mets without an obvious home. 

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