Establishes the empire state baseball trails program.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the economic development law, in relation to creating the Empire State baseball trails program
PURPOSE: To develop within the Department of Economic Development an Empire State Baseball Trails program to promote tourism around the theme of minor league baseball in New York.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one of the bill sets forth the Legislature's intent to increase tourism and economic development by increasing public awareness of New York's thirteen minor league and independent league baseball teams, the teams' game schedules and other baseball attractions. Section two of the bill directs the Commissioner to create a baseball trails program.
§ 2 provides the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: Professional baseball has historically played an important role in the economic and cultural life of the state. The public is generally familiar with the two Major League Baseball teams in New York City, as well as with the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. There is much less public awareness that New York State is also the home of thirteen minor league or independent league teams throughout the state. Teams are located in Auburn, Batavia, Binghamton, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Jamestown, Long Island, Oneonta, Rochester, Staten Island, Syracuse, Troy and Wappinger's Falls. Collectively, the teams play hundreds of games annually, each of which could be a tourist attraction event. Greater public awareness of these minor league and independent league teams and their game schedules has the potential to significantly add to the state's tourism trade.
The thirteen minor league and independent league teams are small businesses themselves, and could help to draw in-state and out-of-state tourists to their respective areas of New York, thereby increasing hotel, restaurant and other tourist-related small businesses.
A coordinated program of systematically promoting minor league and independent league baseball as a New York tourist attraction could be a valuable, cost effective tourist promotion and economic development tool. Such a program may include other venues and events such as Major League Baseball games and the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
The Empire State Baseball Trails program is modeled on existing statutory programs promoting the golf, wine and brewery industries in New York. The program should be user friendly, easy to access and easy to follow. The program should also link together other attractions and venues along such trails in order to attract visitors with a simple and efficient travel plan.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2008: S.8560/A.11288- Veto No. 101 2009-10: S.4417 - Referred to Commerce, Economic Development & Small Business
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Minimal cost would be offset by increased sales tax generated by greater economic activity.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2520 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 24, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. JOHNSON, GRISANTI, SEWARD -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business AN ACT to amend the economic development law, in relation to creating the Empire State baseball trails program THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The economic development law is amended by adding a new article 5-F to read as follows: ARTICLE 5-F EMPIRE STATE BASEBALL TRAILS PROGRAM SECTION 181-F. LEGISLATIVE INTENT. 181-G. DEFINITIONS. 181-H. GENERAL FUNCTIONS, POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE COMMISSIONER. S 181-F. LEGISLATIVE INTENT. THE LEGISLATURE RECOGNIZES THAT PROFES- SIONAL BASEBALL HAS HISTORICALLY PLAYED AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE ECONOM- IC AND CULTURAL LIFE OF THE STATE. THE PUBLIC IS GENERALLY FAMILIAR WITH THE TWO MAJOR LEAGUE TEAMS IN NEW YORK CITY, AS WELL AS WITH THE BASE- BALL HALL OF FAME IN COOPERSTOWN. THERE IS MUCH LESS PUBLIC AWARENESS THAT NEW YORK STATE IS ALSO THE HOME OF THIRTEEN PROFESSIONAL MINOR LEAGUE AND INDEPENDENT LEAGUE TEAMS SPREAD THROUGHOUT THE STATE. GREAT- ER PUBLIC AWARENESS OF THESE TEAMS AND THEIR GAME SCHEDULES HAS THE POTENTIAL TO SIGNIFICANTLY ADD TO THE STATE'S TOURISM TRADE. THE MINOR LEAGUE AND INDEPENDENT LEAGUE TEAMS ARE SMALL BUSINESSES THEMSELVES, AND COULD HELP TO DRAW IN-STATE AND OUT-OF-STATE TOURISTS TO THEIR RESPEC- TIVE AREAS OF NEW YORK, THEREBY INCREASING HOTEL, RESTAURANT AND OTHER TOURIST RELATED SMALL BUSINESSES. IT IS, THEREFORE, THE INTENT OF THIS LEGISLATURE TO HAVE CREATED A PROGRAM WHICH WILL SYSTEMATICALLY PROMOTE NEW YORK MINOR LEAGUE AND INDEPENDENT LEAGUE BASEBALL AS A TOURIST ATTRACTION, BY ESTABLISHING A BASEBALL TRAIL PROGRAM. IT IS THE FURTHER INTENT OF THE LEGISLATURE THAT THESE TRAILS BE LINKED THEMATICALLY, ANDEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD07165-01-1 S. 2520 2
BE CONSTRUED SO AS TO BE EASILY TRAVELED BY TOURISTS AND BASEBALL FANS. THE LEGISLATURE SEEKS THE CREATION OF ITINERARIES TO AID TRAVELERS ALONG BASEBALL TRAILS, WHICH ALSO LINK TOGETHER OTHER ATTRACTIONS AND VENUES ALONG SAID TRAILS IN ORDER TO ATTRACT VISITORS WITH A SIMPLE AND EFFI- CIENT TRAVEL PLAN. FURTHER IT IS THE INTENT OF THIS LEGISLATURE TO SEE THAT THESE TRAILS ARE ADEQUATELY SIGNED SO THAT TRAVELERS MAY INDEPEND- ENTLY FOLLOW THE TRAIL WITH EASE. S 181-G. DEFINITIONS. AS USED IN THIS ARTICLE THE FOLLOWING DEFI- NITIONS SHALL APPLY: 1. "BASEBALL TRAIL" SHALL MEAN A SERIES OF PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL VENUES IDENTIFIED BY THE COMMISSIONER, WHICH MAY BE LINKED BY GEOGRAPHIC PROXIMITY AND ALIGNMENT, AND GAME SCHEDULES. 2. "BASEBALL PASSPORT" SHALL MEAN A BOOKLET OR OTHER PUBLICATION, WHICH IS SPECIFIC TO THE PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL VENUES AND GAMES OR SURROUNDING ATTRACTIONS ON A BASEBALL TRAIL, AND MAY INCLUDE DISCOUNTS AND OTHER INCENTIVES RELATED TO ATTENDING BASEBALL GAMES AND VISITING THE BASEBALL VENUES AND ATTRACTIONS ON THE BASEBALL TRAIL. S 181-H. GENERAL FUNCTIONS, POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE COMMISSIONER. 1. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT AN "I LOVE NY BASEBALL" PROMOTION PROGRAM. THE COMMISSIONER, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE COMMISSION- ER OF PARKS, RECREATION AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION AND ANY LOCAL GOVERN- MENT OFFICIAL OR ENTITY, SHALL IDENTIFY A SERIES OF BASEBALL VENUES AND GAMES TO BE PART OF A BASEBALL TRAIL. NO FEWER THAN TWO BASEBALL TRAILS SHOULD BE IDENTIFIED FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE PROGRAM. IN IDENTIFYING SPECIFIC VENUES AND GAMES TO BE INCLUDED ON A BASEBALL TRAIL, SPECIAL CONSIDERATION SHALL BE GIVEN TO THOSE TRAILS WHICH PROMOTE MINOR LEAGUE AND INDEPENDENT LEAGUE BASEBALL. SPECIAL CONSIDERATION SHALL ALSO BE GIVEN TO TRAILS WHICH CAN BE LINKED TO SURROUNDING ARTS, CULTURAL, HISTORICAL, ENTERTAINMENT OR OTHER TOURISM DESTINATIONS OR EXHIBITS OF INTEREST TO TRAVELERS. 2. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL CAUSE TO BE DEVELOPED BASEBALL VACATION ITINERARIES BASED ON SPECIFIC BASEBALL TRAILS, WHICH SHALL IDENTIFY FOR VISITORS BASEBALL GAMES AND SURROUNDING ATTRACTIONS, RESTAURANTS, LODG- ING AND OTHER EXHIBITS OR PLACES OF ENTERTAINMENT AS MAY BE A PART OF THE THEME LINKING THE BASEBALL VENUES ON THE BASEBALL TRAIL. 3. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL WORK TO DEVELOP DISCOUNT PACKAGES FOR SUCH BASEBALL TRAILS, WHICH MAY INCLUDE THE DEVELOPMENT OF A BASEBALL PASS- PORT. 4. NOTHING SHALL PRECLUDE THE COMMISSIONER FROM CONTRACTING WITH AN INDEPENDENT VACATION OR TRAVEL PACKAGE COMPANY TO HELP DEVELOP BASEBALL VACATION PACKAGES ALONG A BASEBALL TRAIL. S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.