By Gillian Puma, Contributor
The Saint George and Bay Street area of Staten Island is starting to grow into quite the tourist attraction. From the construction of the world’s largest ferris wheel to the new shopping center near the ferry terminal, more and more people are starting to take a ferry boat ride down to Staten Island to see the buzz.
Down the street from these soon-to-be attractions is a large minor league baseball field known as the Richmond County Bank Ballpark, more commonly known to locals as Staten Island Yankee stadium. The ballpark opened on Jun. 24, 2001 and has since attracted many locals to bring their families to a baseball game at an affordable price.
The field takes advantage of its location with a beautiful view over the outfield of the New York City skyline along the harbor. The field also has a brand new scoreboard and drainage for rain days, showing that rain or shine the field is ready for any baseball game.
On Jul. 26, 2017 the Staten Island Yankees signed a three year agreement with the Jaspers to use their field for the MAAC Tournament. The MAAC Tournament was held at Kanisius last year and Dutchess Stadium the year before.
Brendan Bisset, a senior outfielder, was there representing Manhattan College as they announced this agreement and expressed his excitement about playing on this field.
“Any time we play on a minor league field it’s a cool experience, especially since it’s in New York City now,” Bisset said.
Bisset also said this is the first time in his career that the tournaments are now consistent in one area.
“It’s cool that it’s going to be in the city. It will be nice to attract some local kids to come to the games and possibly apply to Manhattan College,” Bisset said as he further addressed the benefits of playing on the field.
Kevin Ross, the Director of Sports Communication and Media Relations, had worked on the baseball field for seven years. He knows the ins and outs to the field.
“It’s tremendous every time you have a league held in the metropolitan area. You end up attracting more people,” Ross said. “It will also be easier for fans of the baseball team who want to see the game and can just take the ferry. The regionality is also very good. It will also help the league’s branding. It’s a good opportunity to be recognized. Playing at a field like that will possibly attract a team personnel and help recruit young members.”
New baseball coach Michael Cole also shared his excitement on playing at the field as well. Cole has been to the stadium multiple times as well.
“The team is off to a great start. Obviously we are a ways away from the season but we are working hard to represent our school and alums as we work to bring a championship back to Riverdale,” Cole reluctantly said. “We understand a lot of hard work goes into making it to the MAAC Tournament and we look forward to the challenge.”
The tournament will be held Wednesday, May 23 to Saturday, May 26 with a rain date on May 27.