NBT Bank Stadium
NBT Bank Stadium is a publicly owned, 11,071-seat, minor league baseball stadium in Syracuse, New York. It is the home stadium for the Syracuse Mets Triple-A baseball team of the International League. The stadium, owned and at times operated by Onondaga County, opened on April 10, 1997, replacing the aging MacArthur Stadium which had served as home to Syracuse's professional baseball teams since 1934 and which was demolished in 1997.
|Former names||Alliance Bank Stadium (2005–2013); P&C Stadium (1997–2005)|
|Location||1 Tex Simone Drive|
Syracuse, NY 13208
|Public transit||From CENTRO Transit Hub: #16, #116, or #216 N. Salina bus (center platform, Bay B8)|
|Operator||Community Baseball Club of Central New York, Inc.|
|Record attendance||14,098 (May 7, 2010)|
|Field size||Left field: 330 feet (100 m)|
Center field: 400 feet (120 m)
Right field: 330 feet (100 m)
|Broke ground||July 5, 1995|
|Opened||April 3, 1997|
|Construction cost||$28 million|
($44.6 million in 2019 dollars)
|Structural engineer||Klepper, Hahn & Hyatt|
|Services engineer||Burns Brothers, Inc.|
|General contractor||J.D. Taylor/Bovis|
|Syracuse Mets (IL) (1997–present)|
Syracuse Salty Dogs (USL-1) (2003–2004)
The stadium is home to the Syracuse Mets, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets. The field's outfield dimensions are 330 feet (100 m) to left field, 400 feet (120 m) to center field, and 330 feet (100 m) to right field. The stadium has an official seating capacity of 11,071 people. In addition to regular seating, the stadium also offers luxury suites and a banquet room. The luxury suites are available in three different sized configurations and all include indoor and outdoor seating options as well as optional stadium-provided catering. The stadium's banquet room is named after former baseball player Hank Sauer who was with the then Syracuse Chiefs in the 1940s prior to going on to excel in the Major Leagues into the late 1950s and eventually have his number retired by the team. The room is near the right field foul pole and is available to rent year-round.
From its opening through the 2007 season, the stadium's playing surface was AstroTurf, mainly due to the team's then-affiliation with the Toronto Blue Jays who used the artificial surface in their ballpark. However, after the 2007 season, the Astro Turf was removed and replaced with natural grass.
On March 20, 2012, the Syracuse Chiefs announced a new videoboard would be installed by the time the Chiefs took on the Durham Bulls on May 7, 2012. The screen measures 30' X 55' (LED HD display), making it one of the largest video boards in the minor leagues. The stadium's PA system also was upgraded.
On July 2, 2019, a $25 million renovation was approved by Onondaga County lawmakers. A 25-year lease with the Mets was also approved.
The former soccer club Syracuse Salty Dogs of the United Soccer Leagues' A-League also called the stadium home for two seasons. Though they were very popular with fans and had very high attendance, their relationships with the Chiefs and Onondaga County were not positive and the team ceased operations after their second season.
Two weeks after the Bob Dylan concert, on August 4, Dave Matthews Band was scheduled to perform at the stadium. Stadium management said they used lessons learned during the smaller-scale Dylan show to make the much larger-scale Dave Matthews Band show as smooth as possible. The show drew over 18,000 fans and was considered a great success, possibly paving the way for more concerts at the stadium in the years to come.
Following the success of the 2008 and 2009 NHL Winter Classic outdoor hockey games, Syracuse Crunch owner Howard Dolgan started expressing his interest in holding a similar event in Syracuse. Alliance Bank stadium was the logical location to hold such an event since it is the only outdoor professional sports venue in the area. The Crunch estimated the cost of such an event to be between $850,000 and $1.05 million.
That being the case, Dolgan decided to ask the Onondaga County legislature for some financial help in putting on the event. Dolgan argued that since the event was expected to bring many out of town hockey fans to Syracuse, the county could use $350,000 of money set aside "specifically to promote tourism and to attract out-of-town dollars to Syracuse". The money in that fund is collected as a tax on hotel rooms in the county and could be replenished by the people coming in from out-of-town for the hockey game. However, the legislature voted 16-2 to not provide the $350,000 in funding and instead approved a total $75,000 in funding. Prior to the legislature's vote, Dolgan stated publicly that without the $350,000, the game would not go on. After the vote, Dolgan immediately turned the money down, stating:
We're not doing an outdoor game. I'll tell ya, besides disappointing the fans and, of course, our organization, I can tell you about 10–12 prominent companies in Syracuse who are not going to be happy because the idiots who voted the way they did. And I don't mind saying that word. What are they going to do? Get mad at me and vote against something else I want to do?
Eventually, the game was held at the New York State Fairgrounds on Saturday, February 20, 2010, as the "Mirabito Outdoor Classic".
During the 2009 International League Season, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (then known as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees) were forced to postpone 11 games due to drainage problems at their home park, PNC Field. In an effort to allow groundskeepers ample time to repair the field, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre decided to relocate four of their home games. Two of these games, both against the Buffalo Bisons, were moved to Syracuse.
Construction on the stadium was completed in 1997, at a total cost of approximately $28 million.
According to The Post-Standard newspaper, financing for stadium construction included:
- $16 million from New York state taxpayers
- $6.6 million from Onondaga County taxpayers
- $4 million from the Syracuse Chiefs/ Community Baseball Club of Central New York, Inc.
- $1 million from the Toronto Blue Jays (which was then the Chiefs' affiliated team) 
In 2012, the Community Baseball Club of Central New York (Syracuse Chiefs) signed an 11-year lease of the stadium with Onondaga County, starting at $126,000 per year, and increasing two percent per year through 2022, when it would pay $153,576. The Chiefs and County share maintenance, utility and other costs, with the former contributing about $500,000 per year to stadium upkeep.
In its prior, 15-year lease, the Baseball Club paid no rent, but its $4 million contribution to the construction of the stadium was amortized over the term of the lease, in lieu of rent, amounting to about $22,222 per month ($266,664 per year).
NBT Bank pays Onondaga County $140,000 per year for stadium naming rights. The 20-year agreement continues through 2025. Jack Webb, executive vice president of NBT Bank and former president of Alliance Bank, serves on the board of directors of the Community Baseball Club of Central New York, Inc., owners of the Syracuse Chiefs and current operator of NBT Bank Stadium.
Previously, the stadium was known as P&C Stadium, derived from P&C Foods, the regional brand of supermarkets run by then Syracuse-based Penn Traffic Corporation (1997–2005); and Alliance Bank Stadium (2005–2013). In 2013, Alliance Bank merged with NBT Bank, which agreed to carry on the naming rights agreement.
The stadium's HD digital video screen, installed in 2012, was purchased by the Chiefs with a bank loan of $950,000, with Community Baseball Club investments as collateral; and with a County contribution of $200,000. The loan was due January 31, 2014.[needs update]
In August 2018 the New York Mets and Onondaga County discussed a renovation which could reduce seating capacity by a third while adding a greater array of amenities, with an eye toward extending the team's commitment to NBT Bank Stadium beyond the 2025 season. At the same time, some local officials raised the possibility of constructing a new downtown ballpark.
On July 2, 2019, a $25 million renovation was approved by Onondaga County lawmakers. A 25-year lease with the Mets was also approved. A sign to the left of the main entrance to the stadium state that renovations would begin in Fall 2019.
The first-phase of renovations include new seating. This new seating includes molded armrests and cupholders. Some seats will be angled to improve the view. However, there will be around 2,000 less seats than before, including that some of the seats will be replaced by cafe style-seating. This phase also includes exterior painting to match the Mets' color scheme of orange and blue. Also, all eight light towers at the stadium will also be replaced.
- "2011 Syracuse Chiefs Media Guide". Syracuse Chiefs. April 2, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
- Kramer, Lindsay (June 26, 2014). "What are the 10 largest Syracuse Chiefs crowds in NBT Bank Stadium history?". The Post-Standard. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
- "The First Crack at Big Mac 2". The Post-Standard. Syracuse. July 6, 1995. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
- "Alliance Bank Stadium" (PDF). Klepper, Hahn & Hyatt. Retrieved September 10, 2011.
- "Why Baseball Beats Hoops Any Day". Syracuse Herald-Journal. April 2, 1997. pp. D1–D2.
- "Tickets - Luxury Suites". Syracuse Chiefs. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
- "Tickets - Hank Sauer Room". Syracuse Chiefs. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
- "Ticket Information - Syracuse SkyChiefs - AAA Baseball". SkyChiefs.com. 1998. Archived from the original on February 9, 1999.
- Poliquin, Bud (June 24, 2007). "Put the Rug to the Curb and Get Growing". The Post-Standard. Syracuse. Retrieved June 26, 2007.
- "Syracuse 7 Gwinnett 0". Syracuse Chiefs. May 7, 2010. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
- "Syracuse Chiefs to Update Stadium With New Daktronics Video Display". Syracuse Chiefs. March 20, 2012. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
- "It's final: Onondaga County approves Mets lease, $25M stadium facelift". syracuse.com. July 2, 2019. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- Bialczak, Mark (February 19, 2009). "Online Ticket Request Period for Dave Matthews Band's August 4 Show at Syracuse's Alliance Bank Stadium Starts Today". The Post-Standard. Syracuse. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
- Wegner, Nina (July 20, 2009). "Fans Approve of Alliance Bank Stadium as Concert Venue". The Post-Standard. Syracuse. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
- Bialczak, Mark (July 19, 2009). "Dylan Clearly Shows that He's a Man of Words at Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse". The Post-Standard. Syracuse. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
- Axe, Brent (February 19, 2009). "Dave Matthews Band to Play Alliance Bank Stadium". The Post-Standard. Syracuse. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
- Wegner, Nina (August 5, 2009). "Thousands Flock to Syracuse's Alliance Bank Stadium to See Dave Matthews Band". The Post-Standard. Syracuse. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
- Axe, Brent (May 29, 2009). "When You Hate Being Right". The Post-Standard. Syracuse. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
- Axe, Brent (June 2, 2009). "Howard Dolgan On the "Idiots"". The Post-Standard. Syracuse. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
- Meyer, Jon (July 7, 2009). "Baseball Officials Inspect PNC Field". WNEP. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
- Waters, Mike (July 8, 2009). "Yankees vs. Mets to Play Each Other at Syracuse's Alliance Bank Stadium". The Post-Standard. Syracuse. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
- "Home stand moved to Lehigh and Syracuse". The Times-Tribune (Scranton). July 8, 2009. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
- Moriarty, Rick (January 19, 2012). "Onondaga County Might Sell Alliance Bank Stadium to Syracuse Chiefs". The Post-Standard. Syracuse. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
- Moriarty, Rick (March 20, 2016). "Chiefs ask county to cut stadium rent". The Post-Standard. p. C-4.
- Moriarty, Rick (December 18, 2012). "Syracuse Chiefs Get More Time to Purchase Alliance Bank Stadium". The Post-Standard. Syracuse. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
- Moriarty, Rick (March 13, 2013). "Alliance Bank Stadium Name Changing to NBT Bank Stadium". The Post-Standard. Syracuse. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
- O'Brien, John (September 30, 2013). "To Escape Fiscal Crisis, Syracuse Chiefs' Board Considers Offers: One for $500,000, Another for $1 Million". The Post-Standard. Syracuse. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
- Rubin, David M. (April 10, 2013). "Syracuse Chiefs Call for Help, But Is It Too Late". The Post-Standard. Syracuse. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
- Spedden, Zach (August 20, 2018). "NBT Bank Stadium Renovation Being Explored". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
- Knauss, Tim (August 17, 2018). "To keep Mets in CNY, Onondaga County seeks $25 million-plus stadium renovation". The Post-Standard. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
- Spedden, Zach (August 31, 2018). "New Downtown Syracuse Ballpark Debated". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
- Knauss, Tim (August 30, 2018). "25 years later, debate resumes: Should CNY build a downtown baseball stadium?". The Post-Standard. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
- "It's final: Onondaga County approves Mets lease, $25M stadium facelift". syracuse.com. July 2, 2019. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to NBT Bank Stadium.|
- Official Site
- "Alliance Bank". Ball Park Watch. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.
- Alliance Bank Stadium on Ballpark Digest
- Alliance Bank Stadium Views - Ball Parks of the Minor Leagues
- Photographs of Alliance Bank Stadium - Rochester Area Ballparks
- BallparkReviews.com Photos and Review (2010)
- "Syracuse stadium gets new name: NBT Bank Stadium Is the New Home of the Triple-A Chiefs". MiLB.com. Syracuse Chiefs. March 13, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
- Moriarty, Rick (February 7, 2012). "Onondaga County lawmakers to vote on proposed new lease of baseball stadium by Syracuse Chiefs". syracuse.com. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
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