Ray RaimundiJul 27, 2018, 6:30 pmJul 30, 2018, 7:33 am

FiOS1 News, Journal News investigate financial troubles of Palisades Credit Union Park

Ramapo is underwater in financial debt as it pays off loans for ballpark

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PALISADES CREDIT UNION PARK – FiOS1 News and the Journal News launched an investigation into the financial troubles of Palisades Credit Union Park, the stadium of the Rockland Boulders. The Town of Ramapo is underwater in financial debt as it continues to pay off loans for the cost of the ballpark.

Journal News Investigative Reporter Tom Zambito investigated the Rockland Boulder's Plan to change leagues in order to draw more spectators to the stadium.

"Ramapo has taken on millions of dollars in debt to finance this stadium. So, you know, they want their money back," Zambito said. "It’s a real hit to their bottom line. If this stadium doesn't do well, whether it's the boulders or other tenants here, they don't do well. They don't make back their money."

The Palisades Credit Union Park Baseball Facility costs an estimated $58 million to build. With average attendance for boulder games at 2,800 per game for the 6,000-seat stadium, the Boulders are hoping a league change will fill the seats

Currently, the team is part of the Canadian American or Can-Am league. However, the boulders are looking to leave Can-Am and join Independent Baseball's Atlantic league, a more popular and successful association.

"It will allow them to schedule more home dates, more home dates means more income for the team and it will also bring in more big-name players," Zambito said.

Controversy has surrounded the Palisades Credit Union Park groundbreaking began years ago. The controversy was centered on former town supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence, who was convicted of fraud and charged with cooking the books in order to build this $58 million-stadium.

"It's a money pit that's self-excavating. And it just keeps getting worse and worse every year," Preserve Ramapo member Mike Castelluccio said. "A lost that adds up each year to over a million dollars, that's operational cost. Plus on top of that, we are paying for the debt service, which is that bond, which was the cost of building the stadium, which has never been paid back."

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