LF: 330' CF: 400' RF: 330'
|Rumble Ponies Info
Affiliate: New York Mets
Nearest Major Airport:
Greater Binghamton Airport
Nearest Pro Ballpark:
PNC Field in Moosic, PA
|Year ||Total ||Rank *
|* Binghamton's total home attendance ranking in the 12-team Eastern League, which had 10 teams in 1994-98 and 8 teams in 1992-93
Where the pursuit of baseball never ends.
What I love about Binghamton's ballpark is where it's placed and the "Baseball Shrine" in its concourse that details Binghamton's place in baseball history.
Nestled into downtown Binghamton amidst old homes and business with railroad tracks running behind the left field fence, NYSEG Stadium has a vintage location that wasn't chosen to revitalize an area but rather to compliment an existing neighborhood and blend in with its surroundings. As such, the stadium is part of the fabric of the town rather than an anchor to some grandiose redevelopment scheme.
Opened as Binghamton Municipal Stadium in 1992, it followed a modern trend and went corporate in 2001 thanks to a naming rights deal with New York State Electric & Gas but NYSEG Stadium is decidedly old school in design, with a single grandstand bisected by an aisle. All seats are serviced by a dark concourse that's behind the grandstand. In its cramped home plate portion is the shrine with plaques that detail the exploits of 50 something people who have been part of Binghamton-based teams over the decades. Notable names include Wee Willie Keeler and Whitey Ford (from the 1892 and 1949 teams, respectively). Plaques are on both the front and back walls of the concourse.
NYSEG Stadium is definitely a ballpark built for the common fan. Party areas are shoved all the way down the outfield lines - the picnic area in left, kids' stuff in right - and balcony skybox seating is separated from grandstand seating only by rails. The stadium has six skyboxes and each is fronted by a dozen seats.
Ever since it opened, Binghamton's stadium has been filled with stadium-style seats. Those below the aisle have cup holders. The perk provided for those sitting in the seats that are above the aisle and between the dugouts (sections 200-206) is they are covered by a roof. The roof is blue, as are all seats and portions of the exterior that have been painted.
NYSEG Stadium's facade is a combination of pale brickstone and concrete blocks. The stadium sits at the intersections of Fayette and Henry streets, where a semi-circular plaza lacks any landscaping and only three flag poles sprout up through its concrete. Near them is the box office and its four ticket windows. Above them is a hand-lettered marquee sign with room for four lines of limited text. Because the box office's number of ticket windows is limited a roll away station manned by a B-Mets staffer serves as will call.
Fans can enter the stadium in three places. Those who already have tickets mainly do so through a gate in right field that's adjacent to the stadium's primary and paved parking lot, which can hold about 500 cars and charges a $3 fee. A small gravel lot near the left field corner exists mainly to service the nearby tent covered picnic table area that groups can book. Picnickers enter the stadium within stone's throw of the gravel parking lot through gate 4, which is designated as the picnic gate entrance. Two gates are found behind home plate. Fans entering there find themselves in close proximity to an impressive in size team store.
While the stadium lacks much in the way of modern amenities, such as a berm and an open concourse, it can boast of a large scoreboard with a vivid video screen that spans the length of the line score. Given the simplicity of the stadium, the mega scoreboard that was installed in right-center field in 2007 almost feels out of place. The almost as tall message board in left field is as simple as they come and mainly exists to display backlit ads.
Both boards are framed by the charming environs that make up a Norman Rockwellian backdrop. Sloping silhouettes of the Catskills dominate, while the upper floors of Binghamton's biggest buildings loom above the symmetrical grandstand. Behind left field are the still used railroad tracks while an elevated bridge overpass seemingly cuts through trees in the distance beyond right field. Outside and across the street from the stadium are a post office, bar, and deli/bakery that calls attention to itself with one of its old delivery trucks hoisted up a pole.
With plenty of uniqueness just outside of its footprint, NYSEG Stadium is most memorable because of its barely within confines bullpens. Each is stationed by a foul pole, both of which are painted orange like the bigger big league versions at New York's Citi Field. Pitchers warm up when needed in territories on the foul side of each pole that are surrounded by fan areas. The Mets bench is behind a window-like cutout in the first panel of the right field wall, but the visitors bullpen bench is behind the group picnic area. Because of the obscured view, many an out of town pitcher chooses to watch the proceedings from the weed-infested hill that only they have access to behind the left field fence, where those in the knothole gang bullpen sit behind the wooden posts that prop up billboards.
As I'm sure relief pitchers would attest, most ballparks nowadays are better than NYSEG Stadium. But as a well-traveled ballpark visitor I can tell you few are as authentic. Charming in a rustic way, it reminds me of minor league stadiums of the pre mid-90s vintage, but with an idyllic setting as Binghamton and its ballpark are intertwined. Such an arrangement is always a great thing and greatly enhances what is an otherwise underwhelming stadium.
NYSEG Stadium Facts, Figures, Firsts & Footnotes
Construction cost: $4.5 million
Financing: The New York Mets, the original owner of the Binghamton Mets, paid for the stadium with a $1.4 million assist from the state's Urban Development Corporation.
Architect: Highland Associates of Clarks Summit, PA
Construction manager: Garbade Construction Corp.
Groundbreaking took place on July 19, 1991.
Is 14 miles north of the Pennsylvania border and about a mile west of I-81.
Was built on the site of an old railyard that contained several freight warehouses.
The Eastern League was founded in Binghamton on March 23, 1923 at the Arlington Hotel, which was demolished in 1969 and stood just down the road from where NYSEG Stadium now is.
Was called Binghamton Municipal Stadium from its opening through the 2000 season.
Naming rights: New York State Electric and Gas purchased them in 2001. Terms of the deal have never been disclosed.
Owned by the City of Binghamton.
Has six suites; four are to the right of the press box, two to the left.
Well down the right field line, a small number of picnic tables are lined up single file in front of the only concession stands that face the field. The more notable of the two is in the shape of a square hut and is operated by Lupo's, a restaurant that has long specialized in spiedies, which are essentially marinated skewers of meat, yet are a delicacy that can only be found in the region.
Binghamton's Baseball Shrine was established in 1993. People that are inducted into the plaque-filled shrine enjoyed success playing for Binghamton-based teams or worked hard to promote baseball in the area. The inaugural inductees were George Johnson (executive), Johnny Logan (native and 4-time National League All-Star), and Wee Willie Keeler, who started his Hall of Fame career with the 1892 Binghamton Bingos.
As part of the Baseball Shrine, an additional series of plaques details "major moments" in Binghamton Mets history.
Upon the cinder blocks of the first base concourse near the doors of the home clubhouse are a pair of photo plaques inscribed with tributes to Pops Cleary and Jack Pranitis, two beloved team employees who established a "tradition of excellence among clubhouse personnel." Cleary died in 1998, Pranitis in 2009.
First game: The Binghamton Mets beat the Harrisburg Senators, 1-0, on April 19, 1992 in front of 5,126 fans. The game was the first of two played that day, as the Mets and Senators had been rained out for three consecutive days prior to the rescheduled doubleheader. The Senators won the second game, 2-1.
Other stadium firsts (all of which occurred on 4/19/92):
|Pitch ||Batter ||Hit (single) ||Home Run ||Winning Pitcher ||Losing Pitcher ||Save
|Joe Vitko ||Steve Hecht ||Darwin Pennye ||Tim Laker ||Joe Vitko ||Travis Buckley ||Julian Vasquez