After three straight years of declining attendance and growing debt, changes are coming to the Syracuse Chiefs. And it’s not clear whether the future of the International League franchise will include the Simone family, whose name has been synonymous with professional baseball in Syracuse for more than five decades.
The board of directors for the community-owned Chiefs met last Friday to discuss the team’s financial woes—which, according to the Syracuse (N.Y.) Post-Standard, include a $500,000 operating loss this season and $64,000 owed in back rent at NBT Bank Stadium—and have called another meeting for this evening. The Chiefs have been the Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate since 2009, following 30 years with the Blue Jays.
“The board is wrestling with some changes, and there will be some—that is a foregone conclusion. But different folks on the board have different thoughts on what direction they should go,” said International League president Randy Mobley, who attended Friday’s session to serve as what he called “a resource” to members of the board. “Tonight could be a very important night in the future of that ballclub.”