|Contact:||Sunny Mindel/Curt Ritter (212) 788-2958
Bruce Brodoff (212) 312-3523 (EDC)
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani was joined by Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Finance Robert M. Harding, New York City Economic Development (EDC) President Michael G. Carey and New York Mets co-owner Fred Wilpon this evening to celebrate the start of the Queens Kings' baseball season.
The Queens Kings, a New York Penn League team which is owned by Mr. Wilpon and will be affiliated with the New York Mets, will play a total of 38 regular season home games from mid-June to early September at an existing ballfield at St. John's University. The team will play at this field, which was refurbished by EDC, for one season (with an option for an additional year) while a permanent stadium is constructed in Coney Island.
"This is a very exciting day for baseball in New York City," said Mayor Giuliani. "Just one year after bringing a New York Yankees minor league team to Staten Island, we now have another minor league team that will add to New York City's reputation as a legendary sports town and provide an inexpensive form of entertainment the whole family can enjoy. Just last night we celebrated the beginning of the second season of the Staten Island Yankees and I look forward to our first Ferry Series later this summer."
In addition to providing affordable family entertainment, the team will bring many other benefits to the community. The improved ballfield, has new dugouts, lightstands, scoreboard, foul poles, sound system, fencing/padding, and a batter's eye and is available for community use both during the season and off-season. The Queens Kings and the New York Mets will also provide the youths of the community with valuable job, internship, education and athletic opportunities.
"Today we start a new era in baseball, the great American pastime, here in Queens," said Queens Borough President Shulman. "While the Kings are here in Queens, we will have the opportunity to see and enjoy the talents of the baseball stars of tomorrow. At the same time, the Kings' support for summer youth programs, both educational and recreational, will ensure fun-filled days for local youngsters. I am also delighted that this new field is available to the community for its enjoyment and benefit."
Deputy Mayor Robert M. Harding said, "Bringing minor league baseball to
Queens will have a very positive effect on the community, the borough, and the
City as a whole. "In addition to providing quality family entertainment,
the opportunity to watch future Hall of Famers, and youth programs the team
is expected to generate almost $4 million in economic output and more than $300,000
in City tax revenue."
EDC President Michael G. Carey said, "I'm very excited that the Queens Kings will be able to play this season. I'm also happy to have the opportunity to share the civic and economic benefits of minor league baseball with the borough of Queens before the team moves to Brooklyn."
"St. John's is pleased to welcome the minor league team and the Mets organization, a long-time resident of Queens, to our campus," said Father Donald Harrington, President of St. John's University. "We are also delighted that both the community and our student-athletes will significantly benefit from the use of the new field. We will continue to work with the City, the Mets, and our neighbors to ensure that this is a win for all concerned."
EDC is the City's primary vehicle for economic development services. Using its real estate and financial resources, EDC helps develop businesses and create jobs throughout the five boroughs.