Mayor Domenic J. Sarno was joined by City Council President Michael Fenton and Senator Eric Lesser this morning to announce another exciting economic development initiative in the City of Springfield – the formation of the new American Basketball Association (ABA) franchise, the Springfield Sting.
Mayor Sarno said, “Hey, why not! We are the home of the one and only in the world Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Great that they want to provide quality, entertaining and affordable professional basketball. I thank the Springfield Sting ownership for their belief and investment in the City of Springfield and wish them the best.”
The Springfield Sting were established in 2016 as Western Massachusetts’ only professional basketball club, and the City’s first ABA team. The Sting are part of the ABA’s Northeast Division, along with Boston, Providence, New Jersey, New York, The Bronx, Long Island, Buffalo, Rochester, Elmira and New England.
"Basketball was invented here, and I'm thrilled that we'll have a professional team here again. Sports, arts and culture are hugely important to economic development in Western Massachusetts. It'll be great to have the Sting in Springfield, and I look forward to bringing my daughter to watch them play,” commented Senator Lesser.
The founder and owner of the Springfield Sting is Zach Baru, a local high school teacher who also has sports and entertainment experience through his work with the Springfield Spirit of the National Women’s Basketball League, the Springfield Falcons, and the Miami Dolphins.
“There has never been a better time for economic development and investment here in Springfield. With the investment that MGM Resorts International has made with the construction of MGM Springfield, the efforts of Congressman Neal and Mayor Sarno in the renovation of Union Station, which will become the Union Station Regional Intermodal Transportation Center, and the investment that Paul Picknelly and his group have made in forming the Springfield Thunderbirds and keeping AHL hockey here in Springfield, now is the time to invest in this great city,” said Zach Baru.
Baru continued, “On a personal note, bringing professional basketball back to Springfield is very special to me. As a Western Mass. native, being able to own a sports franchise in Springfield has been a dream of mine for many, many years. I am so happy to call the City of Springfield the home of this team.”
Councilor Fenton added, “This is an amazing effort and undertaking by Mr. Baru -- it's an inspiring story of entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to community. I want thank Mr. Baru for his investment and wish the new team every success here in the Birthplace of Basketball."
For further information on the Springfield Sting, please visit http://www.springfieldsting.com/.