|Contact:||Sunny Mindel/Curt Ritter (212) 788-2958
Bruce Brodoff 212/312-3523 (EDC)
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani was joined today by Staten Island Borough President Guy V. Molinari, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Finance Robert M. Harding, New York City Economic Development (EDC) President Michael G. Carey, and Staten Island Yankees owners Stanley and Josh Getzler to celebrate the start of construction on the permanent home of the Staten Island Yankees minor league team.
Richmond County Savings Bank President Michael F. Manzulli was also on hand to announce that the 6,500-seat facility will be officially named the Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George.
"This is an exciting day in the history of this great borough," said Mayor Giuliani. "The Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George will be an important component in an overall economic redevelopment plan that will bring enhanced transportation services, shopping, entertainment and waterfront dining opportunities to Staten Island residents and the 60,000 daily commuters and one million tourists who ride the Staten Island Ferry each year. I want to congratulate the Getzler and Steinbrenner families for bringing the national pastime to Staten Island and building this great ballpark in this historic area."
The Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George is expected to be completed by June 2001 and will host approximately 40 home games per year. The ballpark will also be used for other entertainment, sporting, cultural, recreational, community and civic events.
"Every day from Borough Hall we can see the wonderful progress being made at the site," said Borough President Molinari. "Since the first pitch was thrown last summer, the Staten Island Yankees have brought nothing but enjoyment and good family fun to this borough and it gives me great pleasure to say that through my working with Mayor Giuliani, we are on track to providing a permanent home for our Yankees' 2001 season."
The ballpark is just one part of a comprehensive economic redevelopment plan that will turn the long-neglected North Shore into a state-of-the-art gateway to Staten Island. This redevelopment plan includes the $81 million renovation of the St. George Ferry Terminal, which will be the largest single revitalization project ever undertaken on Staten Island. Other projects include the construction of the National Lighthouse Museum and the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences.
Additional improvements will be made to enhance the area surrounding the ballpark and the renovated ferry terminal. These improvements include construction of an esplanade, landscaped waterfront plazas, new pedestrian and bike paths, new roads and commuter parking lots, and improvements to the Staten Island rapid transit system and the shoreline.
"This ballpark and its beautiful waterfront esplanade will attract thousands of New York City residents and tourists looking for affordable family entertainment, and bring increased revenues to the City and jobs for local residents," said Deputy Mayor Harding.
The annual game and event schedule is projected to create approximately 200 jobs. The annual recurring economic impact from stadium operations is estimated at $16.1 million, with the City expected to receive approximately $2.5 million in annual taxes and fees. Private investment in the St. George area has also increased tremendously as a result of these initiatives. Tens of millions of dollars have already been spent on site acquisition and renovation by developers looking to capitalize on the area's potential, and at least a half-dozen prominent buildings in St. George have recently been purchased or are in contract for sale.
"Thanks to the vision and commitment of Mayor Giuliani and Staten Island Borough President Guy Molinari, a site that was previously off-limits to the public will now be a beautiful waterfront destination," said EDC President Michael G. Carey. "This ballpark will help revitalize St. George and serve as an anchor for the economic development of this important area."
"This is a proud day for our family and for the entire Staten Island Yankees organization," said Josh Getzler, Chief Operating Officer of the Staten Island Yankees. "We are grateful to have had the Mayor and Borough President as our champions, and we feel both fortunate and excited to have started a partnership with Richmond County Bank. Mike Manzulli recognized that the Ballpark at St. George will be an integral part of the sports and entertainment landscape of Staten Island and New York City, and we are looking forward to all of what the next nine years - and beyond - bring us."
Richmond County Savings Bank Chairman and CEO Michael F. Manzulli said, "Richmond County Savings Bank is both pleased and proud to partner with the Staten Island Yankees, the Borough President's Office, and the City of New York in this most exciting of ventures. Simply put, the Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George will be the premier entertainment complex on Staten Island. It's an opportunity that makes sense for us and our community."
The Staten Island Yankees play their first home game of the 2000 season on Tuesday, June 20th, at the College of Staten Island.