OREANDA-NEWS. On July 25, 2016, S&P Global Ratings raised its rating on the NYCIDA series 2006 $547.4 million PILOT bonds, $58.4 million installment purchase bonds, $7.1 million lease revenue bonds, and series 2009 $82.28 million PILOT bonds, issued for Queens Ballpark Co. LLC to 'BBB' from 'BB+'. The outlook is stable.

Queens Ballpark Co. LLC is a 42,000-seat, open-air baseball stadium called Citi Field. It is home to the New York Mets. The project used bond proceeds to fund construction of the new ballpark in Queens, N. Y. NYCIDA owns the ballpark and leases it under a long-term lease to Queens Ballpark. The initial lease term is equal to the debt maturity. Queens Ballpark is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sterling Mets L. P., which owns the Mets. Queens Ballpark has a sub-lease with the Mets that requires the Mets to play all home games in the stadium.

The project's liquidity is neutral and has improved since our last review. Total reserves available as of June 30, 2016 are about $38 million, which include the Assured Guaranty surety policy for the 2009 PILOT bonds and taxable bonds. and the cash funding of the 2006 PILOT bonds. This compares to about $35M available as of our last review in March 2016. In 2016 the project expects to add about $4.2M in cash to continue funding the reserves until they reach their required leve. About $2.9M has been added as of June 30, 2016 and we expect the rest to be added at the end of December. With about four months until the end of the current CBA, we consider the project to have enough liquidity to survive a prolonged strike if one were to occur. In our downside scenario, the project has the liquidity to cover operating and debt service costs for 12 months without access to uncontracted revenues.

The stable outlook reflects our view of strong and predictable financial performance with a debt service coverage ratio above 2.1x, mainly due to a stable operating expense profile, and adequate revenues from contracted sources.