TRENTON, NJ -- The Arm and Hammer Stadium will be quiet in Trenton since the Yankees management team has decided to pack up their bats, balls and gloves and move to the Somerset Patriots Stadium in Bridgewater.
Since 2002, the Yankees organization has operated the AA-affiliate Trenton Thunder.
Current co-owner of the Trenton Thunder Joseph Plumeri issued a statement saying "this is about more than baseball; the Thunder is a pillar of the Trenton community. My heart breaks for the thousands of stadium workers, fans and residents of this great city. This move by the Yankees removes a key source of income for Trenton."
During baseball season, approximately 150 people are employed at the stadium.
Plumeri and his co-owners, Joseph Caruso and Joseph Finley, said that "the Yankees betrayed their partnership at the 11th hour."
"My father knew Trenton’s character, and he wanted to develop a franchise that could be shared for generations to come. We know the character of Trenton," added Plumeri. "We will continue to invest in Trenton and its people because Trenton deserves it -- maybe more than any other place in America.”
So, what is next for the Arm and Hammer Stadium that sits prominently the Delaware River in Trenton?
According to a TAPinto source, there are several potential options for the stadium: no baseball played there for the coming year; recruit an Atlantic Coast League team to move to Trenton; or bring an independent team to the field.
"The owners are weighing all options. We are committed to maintaining baseball in Trenton," said the source. He also noted that the move of the Thunder "will have a direct impact on the city and area organizations" that benefited from the Trenton Thunder and use of the stadium. Arm and Hammer Stadium has previously been graded as the number two stadium in the eastern league and the number three franchise nationally.
The source noted that the late decision by the Yankees organization has made it incredibly difficult to find a new Major League Baseball affiliated team to strike a deal with the organization. The minor league announced a realignment of teams in September that cut the number of teams from 160 to 120.
Similar to the move of the Trenton Thunder from Trenton to Bridgewater, the Yankees organization also are moving their Staten Island-based minor league team to a suburban stadium in the Hudson Valley.
The property is owned by Mercer County and leased by the ownership group.
Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes echoed the sentiment that "the potential is there for another organization to make Arm & Hammer Park its home, and Mercer County is excited about the possibilities."
"Over the past several years, we have made significant capital investments into the park including replacement of all the original seats, new stadium lighting and improvements to sidewalks and parking, as well as new player locker rooms, new turf and padding added to the outfield wall, said Hughes. "As for a new team, yes, of course we are eager to have a new team make Trenton its home. I'm sure baseball fans are having lively discussions, cheers and jeers as to who they would like to see courted."
Hughes noted that the Detroit Tigers played at the stadium had a quick run in Trenton followed by the Red Sox organization.
Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, The Trenton Thunder team did not take the field this past season. No date had yet been set for team to play ball in the spring of 2021.
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