After an off-season that has seen the Binghamton Mets extend their affiliation agreement with the parent club, only to have rumors swirling of a move to Ottawa, the Binghamton Mets appear to be headed back to NYSEG Stadium for the 2013 season.
Talks apparently broke off between a group from Ottawa and Binghamton ownership back in November. The B-Mets ownership group has denied the rumors all along, despite reports from both Mets baseball insider Adam Rubin of ESPN and Baseball America.
With talks of a move behind them, Binghamton is poised to move on toward a winning season in 2013. They announced Thursday, that Manager Pedro Lopez, will return, along with hitting coach Luis Natera and pitching coach Glenn Abbott. Athletic trainer Matt Hunter and strength & conditioning coach Dustin Clarke round out the staff.
The B-Mets finished the 2012 season with a record of 68-74 and has not made the playoffs since 2004.
The attendance at NYSEG Stadium dipped to an average of 2,983 fans in 2012 and has been on the decline for several years. That is the major reason for the constant talk of the team moving.
Binghamton has a reputation as a great sports town and there are many who live up to that, from fans to sponsors and beyond. Unfortunately, there are many in this town that will not support a losing team, as evidenced by the decline in attendance.
It is only logical that a city wants a winner on the field and that is completely understandable. That said, Binghamton is a knowledgeable enough sports community to realize that winning can’t happen every year.
Before becoming a member of the media, I was, and still am a fan of the team. It is hard for me to understand why this team does not get the support they deserve. The situation is made worse when you consider that anytime there is a rumored move, such as this one, the fans don’t understand, they are looking for answers.
The answers are right in front of these fans faces when they walk into NYSEG Stadium. Some nights there are over 4,000 answers, as in empty seats.
It is unfair of fans in this, or any town, to expect a winner on the field when the support is lacking. The B-Mets are one of the most exciting, inexpensive things to see in Binghamton, yet those blue seats sit empty.
If this team, or any other is going to thrive in Binghamton, they need fan support. This city proved they were capable of supporting the local team when there were record crowds at the Broome County Arena during the Binghamton Senators 2011 Calder Cup championship run.
That same support needs to happen at NYSEG Stadium consistently throughout the season, otherwise there will be no team to support.
For now, it appears Binghamton dodged a bullet, as Double-A baseball will be here for at least one more season. That said, I hope Binghamton was paying attention. The reports of this team moving were real, despite Binghamton ownership insisting otherwise.
Every team in every league has a price and the Binghamton Mets are no exception. If fans don’t get their buts in the seats this season, these reports of the team leaving will continue and there will come a day when a report becomes reality.