The Mets have decided to leave the casinos in favor of some lake effect snow. It is old news that the Mets were relocating their AAA affiliate to Syracuse. When the Mets announced that they were rebranding the team in Syracuse, the Chiefs, there was some initial shock. After all, the Chiefs had been a staple in the city since 1934 when the Jersey City Skeeters moved to the city. While ownership of the team has bounced around from team to team, the longest a team has been affiliated with the Chiefs has been the Toronto Blue Jays, who were there from 1978 until 2008. The Mets have decided to double down on their commitment to Syracuse, signing a contract that will keep them there until 2043.
Logistically speaking, moving the team to Syracuse makes a lot of sense. The team is now a lot closer to New York than they resided in Las Vegas. The new tenants of the 51’s, the Washington Nationals will feel the same crunch of sending players through multiple time zones to play at the big league level. Not only does it bring the players closer to New York, it allows the fans to watch their top prospects without having to go to Las Vegas. Instead, the Chiefs will play in places like Lehigh Valley, Scranton, and Rochester.
It was a risky move shooting for the rebrand. The team, as well as other local professional sports teams, will always compete with Syracuse athletics in terms of attention. This shows, as the Chiefs finished second to last in attendance during the 2018 season. It has been a while since the team has had any sustained success, as they have only made the International League playoffs once since 1998. It is clear that the team needed some revitalization.
What the Mets tried to do was connect their colors, blue and orange, to Syracuse athletics. They knew logo that is on the hat of the Syracuse Mets immediately brings to mind the signature “S” of Syracuse athletics. The S on the Mets hat is given a twist that can only be described as Metsian, as it adds a certain Flushing flair to the letter. The intent of the organization is quite obvious.
It is a smart, yet risky move to try to emulate what Syracuse athletics has already created in the city. On one hand, the Mets are trying to make things uniform in the city. Pittsburgh has seen success with this strategy, as all of their major sports teams have a combination of black and some sort of variation of gold/yellow. On the other hand, the Mets run the risk of simply fading into the ocean of blue and orange that currently resides there. So far, nothing stands out about the team, besides Peter Alonzo, that might attract a casual baseball fan to the ballpark. The Mets furthered their investment by committing $26 million in renovations to NBT Bank Stadium, where the Syracuse Mets will play.
Overall, it was a good idea to decide to move to Syracuse. The organization will benefit a lot from having the team in state. They will forever play second fiddle to Syracuse Athletics however, which is something that the team is trying to embrace with the rebrand.