New plan to revitalize our national pastime

As sports like soccer and basketball have experienced a surge in popularity, interest in baseball has waned over the years, a situation that’s gone unnoticed by many members of the population.However, Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis – who represents both Brooklyn, where the Minor League Cyclones play, and Staten Island, home to the Staten Island Yankees — has noticed and, along with Buffalo Assemblymember Crystal People-Stokes, has proposed the Empire State Baseball Trails Program to remedy this problem. The initiative’s main goal is to increase awareness of New York’s 13 minor league teams, and thus improve ticket sales as well as tourism. The program is loosely based on similar programs used to stimulate, “existing statutory programs in the state’s wine, golf and brewery industries.” “This program would be a home run when it comes to promoting the state’s impressive minor league baseball teams and other countless local attractions,” said Malliotakis. By getting more people to the ballpark at affordable prices, she contends, you also stimulate the economy, because people will go to the restaurants, stores and other facilities near where the baseball games are being played, thus generating revenue for local businesses. “It’s a win-win for everybody, because by bringing people to these communities you get them patronizing the ballparks and the small town businesses,” Malliotakis stressed. The program could also include discounts to such locations as the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown as well as Major League baseball games. Legislation to create the program has passed both the Assembly and the State Senate, and is now pending the approval of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

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