NEW YORK CITY-The Cyclone at Brooklyn’s Coney Island has, since 1927, amazed thrill seekers with 3,000 feet of track and speeds of 60 mph. The famous ride is now the namesake, thanks to baseball fan John Diffley of Port Jefferson, Long Island, of the city’s latest minor league team, the Brooklyn Cyclones. Ground has already broken on its permanent home. This is the third team unveiled in the city, and the second with a stadium on the way.

Across the Brooklyn Bridge in Manhattan residents are up in arms over proposals by the mayor and Olympic lobbying team NYC2012 for a big league sports stadium on West Side. The outer boroughs, however, are celebrating the progress on their minor league baseball stadiums. The city says the teams are already generating revenue and with permanent homes, the potential is even greater.

Mayor Giuliani joined Jeffrey and Fred Wilpon, owners of the Mets, in congratulating Diffley on beating 7,000 other fans in a team naming contest. This will be the first professional baseball team in Brooklyn since the Brooklyn Dodgers defected to Los Angeles 43 years ago. The Cyclones will be a Class A team in the New York-Pennsylvania Professional Baseball League.

The stadium’s completion is expected in time for the start of the 2001 season. It’s located at the former Steeplechase Park in Coney Island at Surf Avenue and Reigelmann Boardwalk between West 16th and 19th Streets. The stadium will seat 6,500 and totals 869,452 sf. The city estimates approximately 700 jobs will be created as 38 home games are played. An additional 240 jobs are expected by staging 35 other events per year.

In early June 2000, Staten Island Borough President Guy V. Molinari, Mayor Giuliani, New York City Economic Development President Michael G. Carey and Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Finance Robert M. Harding all joined Staten Island Yankees owners Stanley and Josh Getzler at the ground-breaking of their stadium. The Staten Island Yankees just completed their second season this fall, clinching their first New York-Penn-League Championship, but they don’t have their own stadium. They will, by June 2001, be housed in the St. George area.

The Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George will seat 6,500 people, and is part of a plan to rehabilitate the North Shore. The $81-million plan includes renovation of the St. George Ferry Terminal, the construction of the National Lighthouse Museum and the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences. There will also be an esplanade, landscaped waterfront plazas, new pedestrian and bike paths, new roads and commuter parking lots, as well as other transportation infrastructure improvements. The stadium is expected to create 200 jobs, generate $16.1 million with $2.5 million going to the city.

While awaiting a permanent home, they have been playing at the College of Staten Island. This past June another minor league baseball team joined the city, and it also plays on a college campus. The Queens Kings, owned by the Wilpon brothers, play at St. John’s University’s Queens Campus. Even without a stadium, at the time of its season opening, the EDC predicted it would generate almost $4 million and more than $300,00 in tax revenue for the city.

With the high of the subway series still in the minds of New Yorkers, the interest in baseball is pretty solid. The question will be whether the city’s sports fans can sustain enough interest to support two major league teams and three minor league teams. It’s a lot of baseball on the plates of city residents, but City Hall and the EDC say it’s all a win.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

GlobeSt Net Lease Spring 2024Event

This conference brings together the industry's most influential & knowledgeable real estate executives from the net lease sector.

Get More Information


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2024 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.