Monroe County and the Red Wings announce lease deal

Feb 12, 2018

Credit Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

There will be Red Wings baseball at Frontier Field, as originally planned this season.

That news came down late Monday afternoon, as Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo and Naomi Silver who is the CEO for Rochester Community baseball, announced a 10 year deal from now through 2028 with an option to renew it for another 10 years after that.

The two entities originally announced a framework for the deal last August, but talks apparently bogged down in recent weeks, and it got to the point where the International League president set a March 1st deadline for a lease agreement, or the league was going to move the Wings’ games to another stadium.

Dinolfo says one of the reasons negotiations took longer than expected was the fact that the county has been phasing out the local development corporations, so now the Red Wings will deal directly with the county.

“Some of the issues that remained were, what is the capital improvement, what are the amenities and how is that going to work out and that was a whole different dynamic and a whole different relationship, but we’ve certainly ironed out that and some of the shared use of the stadium, what will the county be doing, will the county be having events here and can we have events here, we’ve worked all that out."

Among other things, the lease deal will see the Red Wings provide the county $100,000 a year in rent payments.  

Dinolfo says that by dissolving the former Local Development Corporation, called the Greater Rochester Outdoor Sports Facilities Corporation, it will save the county about $320,000 a year in administrative costs.

The President and CEO/COO for Rochester Community Baseball, Naomi Silver, teared up at times during her comments at the stadium clubhouse,  saying that, “We really tried hard to bring this to conclusion, but I think it does mean so much to this community, and that's where my family comes from and everybody that works in this organization feels that way; I believe the community feels the same way, so it's highly emotional.”

Silver says that as with the previous lease, Monroe County will receive a significant part of the revenue derived from baseball events at the stadium. But she says in this lease, they have certain assurances that the County will maintain and modernize the stadium as necessary, and will seek outside funding sources, when possible, to help accomplish this.

Silver also says that the team is grateful to the fans and the entire community for their support, and in light of that reaction, the Red Wings will dedicate this year’s Opening Day on Friday, April 6th as ‘Community Appreciation Day.’ Details on what that will entail will be released later.