- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Newark was the loser in an off-field battle between the Yankees and the Mets.

Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo said Tuesday that Yankees officials contacted him last month about having its top minor-league team play in Newark’s Eagles & Bears Riverfront Stadium in 2012 while the team’s regular Triple-A field in Scranton, Pa., undergoes a year of renovations.

It was an exciting prospect for New Jersey’s biggest city, DiVencenzo said.

Having the Yankees’ top farm team take up a year’s residency could mean an economic boost and a chance for local kids who can’t afford tickets at Yankee Stadium to see future Yankees in person, he said.

But the Mets said no.

In a move first reported by The Star-Ledger, the National League team invoked its territorial rights to nix a new Yankees’ affiliate in the area, even temporarily.

The media relations staffs for both teams asked a reporter to send questions in an email. By Tuesday evening, neither had responded.

The Newark stadium is owned by the City of Newark and Essex County governments and managed by the Essex County Improvement Authority.

DiVincenzo, who said he is a fan of both New York teams but prefers the Yankees, said it’s “a huge disappointment.”

He said that his office, the Governor’s Office and the Yankees had worked out what improvements would be needed and even how to compensate the Can-Am League’s Newark Bears for spending a year on the road.

Now, the Bears know they’ll be at home next year.

It’s not clear where the Yankees’ Triple-A team will be.

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