Yankee haters can continue to yell “Yankees Suck!” at RCB Ballpark next season, as just a tad over six months since Nostalgic Partners LLC they announced that they would be dropping the Yankee name from the Staten Island Yankees, it was announced that they will retain the Yankees name for at least the 2017 season.
In a press release on the Staten Island Yankees website, Staten Island Yankees CEO Will Smith stated that “over time it became clear that the approval and acceptance of the new name and artwork would take longer than initially anticipated” before announcing Staten Island would retain the Yankees moniker for 2017.
From the get-go, the idea to rebrand the team’s nickname was not met with open arms from Yankee fans, as many wanted to maintain the Yankee naming.
Following the 2016 season, the Staten Island Yankees unveiled the 5 finalists to replace the name. The options, which all began with Staten Island, were: Bridge Trolls, Heroes, Killer Bees, Pizza Rats & Rock Pigeons. The names were not received well by the fans at all.
Debi Rose, a City Councillor from Staten Island, even suggested the team come up with 5 new finalists. She sent a letter to the team, claiming that the five choices didn’t reflect the borough’s character. In a statement at the time, Councilwoman Rose said “We can have names we can be proud of and be whimsical, but the names that they chose really sound like something out of a zombie apocalypse and I was offended.”
A source within the Staten Island Yankees front office did inform Brooklyn Baseball Banter around Thanksgiving that the Staten Island Yankees management was facing issues from the city government over the name that won the drawing. The two sides had reached a stalemate in regards to what to do about a name. Maintaining the Yankees name was a possibility that was being looked into.
FULL PRESS RELEASE
STATEN ISLAND- In June, we announced plans to change our team name for the first time since arriving on Staten Island in 1999. Change is never easy, especially when your name is associated with one of the most iconic brands in sports, the New York Yankees. It is a privilege to be the starting point for many young men trying to work their way to the Bronx, but operating as a minor league team in the same marketplace under the same moniker presents inevitable challenges, so we began seeking an identity of our own.
Since the announcement, our organization enthusiastically devoted its full effort into the research and planning related to this endeavor, but over time it became clear that the approval and acceptance of the new name and artwork would take longer than initially anticipated. With that taken into consideration, we decided to table the rebranding process for the upcoming season and remain the Staten Island Yankees in 2017.
“We had a favored name, logo and branding plan. We were prepared to move forward, but encountered obstacles that unfortunately delayed the process beyond industry deadlines. These delays also would have compromised the quality of the product we aim to bring our fans,” said Staten Island Yankees President Will Smith. “I always said that until there is a new name, we are the Yankees. That remains true today.”
“Nevertheless, the passion and enthusiasm for our community’s team that surfaced during this process has not gone unnoticed. Most important is what comes first in our name – Staten Island – and all monikers aside, our goal remains the same: To provide family-friendly entertainment in a safe, clean environment at an affordable price. We are taking many steps to make the experience at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George the best it has ever been in 2017, and can’t wait to share those steps with you in the coming months.”