After two summers with no baseball, America’s Pastime is returning to Staten Island.
New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Staten Island Entertainment (SIE) LLC announced on Thursday that Staten Island Ballpark will host an Atlantic League franchise beginning in the 2022 season.
“We are delighted to bring Atlantic League baseball to Staten Island” Rick White, president of the Atlantic League, said. “We are confident the leaders of the team will become fixtures in the community, delivering top-notch baseball and world-class entertainment to the residents of Staten Island for years to come.”
The Atlantic League is an independent organization that is an official partner league of Major League Baseball. One notable existing member is the defending league champion Long Island Ducks, who play in Central Islip.
Staten Island Ballpark was without a tenant for the last two years after the Staten Island Yankees — the New York Yankees’ former Class-A minor-league affiliate — was dissolved in November after COVID-19 canceled the 2020 minor-league season.
“NYCEDC was so excited to close this deal to bring professional baseball back to Staten Island,” said NYCEDC President and CEO Rachel Loeb. “We paid special attention to selecting a partner who will work to ensure the Staten Island Ballpark benefits the greater community and be a place for youth and amateur sports, along with concerts and other events. We thank Staten Island Entertainment for their partnership, along with the Mayor’s commitment to invest in the stadium to help it return to all its glory come next Spring.”
SIE — led by its chairman John Catsimatidis and president Eric Shuffler — includes numerous famous investors including Yankees president Randy Levine, XFL chairwoman Dany Garcia, and Saturday Night Live cast members and Staten Island natives, Colin Jost and Pete Davidson, along with SNL castmate Michael Che.
“Staten Island is a borough of passionate sports fans, and we are excited to partner with the community to create something great for everyone on Staten Island–from high-quality professional baseball to local youth sports, high school and college athletics–to make the stadium a central part of the Staten Island sports community,” Shuffler said.
Sharing in the celebration of Staten Island’s return to the baseball stage was Mets 1986 World Series champion and former Yankee, Dwight Gooden, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“I am excited to see minor league baseball returning to Staten Island,” Gooden said. “I love New York and know that the Atlantic League represents high-quality baseball. Congrats to the ownership group SIE, the Borough President, NYCEDC, and Mayor for helping to make this happen. And most importantly, congrats to the residents of Staten Island.”