Funny how Kingsport found a consultant.
Professional baseball from the Major League level down to the Class A summer rookie leagues is a business. Cities on the major league and minor league levels compete with one another in an effort to land or keep a team. Kingsport, Tennessee has hosted a New York Mets rookie league team since 1984. Kingsport lived up to the 1990 Major League Baseball-Minor League Baseball agreement, which called for either new or renovated stadiums in the cities that housed minor league teams, by building a 2,500-seat facility which was good enough for the Appalachian League. But the 23-year-old stadium is in its final years. Stadiums don’t have a long-life span anymore and Kingsport city leaders are looking to replace the municipal stadium. To do that, the city’s elected officials needed to find a consultant to tell them and probably the Mets organization exactly would is required of the city to satisfy the Mets ownership that places players in Kingsport. The New York Mets deal to use Kingsport’s stadium is done in 2021 and even though Kingsport upgraded the facility the Mets ownership wants more. The Mets ownership is demanding the same of Syracuse, the Triple A International League, city. Mets ownership just purchased the Syracuse team from local investors. Baseball is a business.
Kingsport has found the consultant that the city needs to advise them going forward. It is a New York City-based company called Sterling Project Development. If the name sounds familiar, it should be. The New York Mets baseball team is owned by Sterling Equities. Mets owner Fred Wilpon happens to be the chairman, co-founder and senior partner of Sterling Equities and also is the chairman and chief executive officer of the New York Mets. He owns the Kingsport Mets. Coincidence? Maybe. Wilpon’s company, Sterling, will tell Kingsport officials exactly what Wilpon’s minor-league team needs to succeed.