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Onondaga County approves 25-year lease, $25M investment in NBT Bank Stadium

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media
The Syracuse Mets playing at NBT Bank Stadium.

The Onondaga County Legislature approved a $25 million investment into the NBT Bank Stadium as part of a deal to keep the New York Mets and Triple-A baseball in Syracuse for 25 years. The renovations are meant to improve the fan experience. 

The county and New York State will split the costs of modernizing the stadium used by the Syracuse Mets. Deputy Onondaga County Executive Brian Donnelly said it will address items long overdue.

“They’ll have new lighting, they’ll have new seating, the box seats will be improved,” Donnelly said. “The concourse lighting, the concession areas, the outfield behind the fence will be improved. The parking lot will be repaved and relit. We’re very excited that we’ll have a stadium that people will really be impressed with and happy to come into.”

It will also ensure professional baseball stays in Syracuse through 2043 as part of new lease agreement, also approved by lawmakers.

"The opportunity to have a New York team, the New York Mets here in Syracuse is huge," Donnelly said. "It's a great deal across the board and we're very happy to move it forward."

Onondaga County Legislator Tom Buckel was the only one to vote against it. He said the location of the stadium on the north side of Syracuse was one of the greatest civic blunders. 

"I don't like where this stadium is located because it doesn't add to the community,” Buckel said. “For the amount of money we're talking, up to $25 million, I would start the process all over again and find the right site downtown that would benefit the entire community." 

Renovations to enhance the fan experience will begin after the end of the current season.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.