Senator Fred Akshar, Binghamton Mayor Richard C. David, and Binghamton Rumble Ponies owner John Hughes today announced a $2.5 million NYSEG Stadium improvement project - the largest capital investment in the ballpark's history.
The upgrades are designed to enhance fan experiences, upgrade critical stadium infrastructure, modernize operations and provide a first-class environment for top New York Mets prospects to grow their skills for the Major Leagues.
Sen. Akshar and New York State Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan secured $2 million in grant funds through the State and Municipal Facilities Program of the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY). Evans St. Baseball, owner of the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, is contributing $500,000 for the project. Construction will begin immediately and is scheduled to be complete before Opening Day, April 13, 2017.
The $2.5 million plan includes:
New Stadium Lighting - All 180 stadium lamps will be replaced with reflective and energy-efficient bulbs on eight existing support poles to meet Minor League Baseball standards.
New Bullpen and Batting Cage - 3,600 square-foot dual lane batting cage facility and relocated bullpen beyond right field. New batting cage facility replaces an antiquated underground setup which was prone to flooding.
New Right Field Entrance Gate - Current chain link fences will be transformed to an open-air entrance, featuring new ticket kiosks, signage, lighting and decorative pavers and fencing. Attractions will include a performance stage area for live music, new spiedie BBQ stand and a playground fun zone.
New Team Deck - 144 person picnic party deck built on the right field line that will provide fans with the ultimate viewing perspective for the best talent in Minor League Baseball. Hightop tables will litter the deck and covered seating will also be available. A new handicapped lift will provide better access to the deck and entire concourse.
New Third Base Terrace - Picnic tables and terrace family seating on the third base line, replacing existing seating in Sec. 15 and Sec. 17 allowing families and smaller groups to enjoy a comfortable and conversational setting at the ballpark.
In addition, the plan includes improvements to groundskeeping, clubhouse, office and skybox facilities, and concourse lighting upgrades.
"Since 1992, NYSEG Stadium has been an integral part of the entertainment landscape enjoyed by our community's residents," said Senator Fred Akshar. "Senate Majority Leader Flanagan and Mayor Rich David have been incredible partners and I thank them for their support in helping keep baseball in Binghamton thriving. This project will build on our efforts to revitalize downtown Binghamton as a destination bursting with activity and fun for the whole family."
"Our City, our entire community, reflects on the memories of this ballpark while writing a new chapter of Binghamton baseball history," said Mayor Richard C. David. "Our project represents the most significant commitment to fans and this franchise since the stadium's construction more than 25 years ago. Sen. Akshar has again delivered, bringing significant state resources to this City-owned facility. John Hughes and his staff, as well as the New York Mets organization, deserve high praise for their vision to improve NYSEG stadium and their dedication to this community."
"With Senator Akshar leading the way, my Senate colleagues and I are proud to continue supporting new investments to help benefit Binghamton's team, its supporters, and the region's economy," said Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan. "The improvements announced today will help further enhance Binghamton's sporting experiences and create more lasting memories for fans of all ages."
"Thanks to Governor Cuomo, Majority Leader John Flanagan, Senator Fred Akshar and Mayor David for their support in getting this project moving forward," said Jeff Wilpon, New York Mets COO. "We are thrilled with the modernization of the Binghamton facility that will benefit fans, players and keep the team as part of the community for many years."
"It's an amazing honor to have this kind of community support as we grow NYSEG Stadium into a regional sports and entertainment destination," said John Hughes, Binghamton Rumble Ponies owner. "Because of support from Mayor David, Sen. Akshar and Leader Flanagan, we are building an environment for fans to enjoy the best experience Minor League Baseball has to offer. Our investments in player development facilities will ensure the New York Mets have a stadium built to host their Double-A franchise for decades to come. This is the latest step on our journey to bring fun and excitement to the Rumble Ponies franchise. I look forward to seeing everyone next season in Rumble Town."
First built as Binghamton Municipal Stadium, NYSEG Stadium has been home to the Double-A affiliate of the New York Mets since 1992. It has a seating capacity of 6,012. The stadium is owned by the City of Binghamton which leases to Evans Street Baseball Inc. to operate a baseball franchise.