Bridgewater, NJ – On Tuesday evening, the Somerset Patriots formally presented the team’s future plans in regards to the new partnership with the New York Yankees to both the Somerset County Board of Commissioners and Bridgewater Township officials.
Somerset Patriots Chairman Emeritus Steve Kalafer, Co-Chairmen Jonathan and Josh Kalafer, President/General Manager Patrick McVerry, and Vice President of Operations Bryan Iwicki attended the virtual meetings with the goal to brief all parties on the improvements needed at TD Bank Ballpark to meet the requirements put forth by Major League Baseball for all of their minor league facilities.
“This was an important step for the continuing future of our partnerships with Somerset County and Bridgewater Township,” said Steve Kalafer. “Our elected officials, and this community, are a significant reason the New York Yankees chose the Somerset Patriots. It is essential to demonstrate the reinvestment we are making as a family and team to our community and it’s going to take all of us working together to reach the next level we all expect and desire.”
In line with the fiscal model for TD Bank Ballpark agreed to over two decades ago, any improvements made to the site will be taxpayer neutral and all principal and interest will be paid for by the Somerset Patriots.
“It has always been a point of pride for us to be a part of bringing a high-quality baseball experience to Somerset, but just as important is the way that we bring that experience,” said Jonathan Kalafer. “We’ve seen our public-private partnership shine as an example of success throughout minor league baseball. We look forward to working with our elected officials and community to continue that tradition.”
Since opening in June of 1999, the Somerset Patriots have paid over $21,000,000 toward principal and interest of the ballpark.
“To be good partners in business, and whenever the good of a community is involved, it is vital to keep and fulfill promises,” said Josh Kalafer. “We made a commitment to the Somerset County, Bridgewater Township, and our entire region that we are always going to be good neighbors and positively impact the community we live in and serve.”
In addition to the meeting serving as a presentation of ballpark plans with the Somerset County Board of Commissioners, led by director Shanel Robinson and deputy director Sara Sooy, one of the team’s goals was to lay the groundwork for extending the team’s lease past its maturity date and continue to invest well into the future.
At the meeting the Somerset Patriots were able to officially welcome new commissioners Paul Drake and Douglas Singleterry, joining Robinson, Sooy, and Melonie Marano on the board.
“We’re all looking forward to the spring when we get to see Yankees baseball in Patriots uniforms here in Somerset County, and I can’t wait to throw out a first pitch,” said director Robinson. “The investments in TD Bank Ballpark presented tonight, all at no taxpayer expense, are investments in Somerset County that will pay off for years to come.”
The meetings come after the November 7th announcement that the Yankees named the Somerset Patriots their new Double-A affiliate after 23 years serving as a founding member of the independent Atlantic League.
During their Atlantic League tenure, the Somerset Patriots proved to be a model of success on and off the field. The franchise welcomed close to 7,500,000 fans to the ballpark, averaged over 360,000 fans per season, and drew over 5,200 fans per game. The Somerset Patriots led the Atlantic League in attendance each of the past three seasons.
“We are proud of all of the accomplishments we have achieved through the hard work of everyone involved in our organization over the years,” said McVerry. “The opportunities and challenges ahead add to this unbelievable time for the Somerset Patriots, our fans, partners, and community. We couldn’t be more ready or excited to take on all that lies ahead as a part of the New York Yankees family.”
The Bridgewater meeting was attended by Mayor Matthew Moench, the Township Council, and members of the Township Planning Board for the courtesy review and suggestions.
“We are very excited about the coming baseball season and the improvements coming to the ballpark,” said Moench. “We appreciated the Patriots joining us last night for the review. The team has a good application that will help support the activities expected at TD Bank Ballpark now and for the years to come.”
Steve Kalafer added, “We want to extend a special thank you to Somerset County Engineer Matt Loper, who did a wonderful job at both presentations to thoroughly explain the ballpark plans to everyone involved.”
About The Somerset Patriots
The Somerset Patriots are the new Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. Stay up to date on all Somerset Patriots news online; on all of our social media platforms, and on our mobile app. For more information, visit www.somersetpatriots.com.