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Wednesday, Jul 23rd

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SWB Yankees sale, PNC Field renovations still pending

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Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees

Deadlines are slipping for Lackawanna County to sell the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (Class AAA; International League) and use the proceeds to renovate the team's home, PNC Field.

The original plan was to sell the team to a New York Yankees/Mandalay Baseball Properties partnership for $14.6 million, then turn around and use that money as part of a $40-million renovation of PNC Field, with reconstruction beginning on March 20 and demolition of the current grandstand starting April 1. That's still the overall plan, but negotiations have taken much longer than anyone anticipated, with the terms of a new 30-year lease under negotiation.

Right now a slip of a few weeks isn't a big deal: flexibility to accommodate such delays is probably built within the construction schedule. But there's a longer-term issue if there are more delays: the International League is already putting up with an inconvenient schedule this year as the Yankees play out of a variety of ballparks while the PNC Field reconstruction goes on, and league president Randy Mobley is already signaling that a second year of the road Yanks won't be acceptable.

RELATED STORIES: Could SWB ballpark shift to downtown Scranton?; SWB Yankees adopt Empire State moniker for 2012; Sale still pending for SWB Yankees; could team depart?; SWB Yankees to play as road team for 2012; Could SWB Yankees stay in Scranton for 2012?; Surprise player in SWB Yankees temporary home: Newark; Decision on SWB Yankees fate delayed; Ottawa out of running for SWB Yankees -- but in line for affiliated ball; NY Yankees making moves with minor-league teams; Corbett OKs SWB ballpark renovation funds; Judge: Lackawanna County entitled to keep ballpark profits; PNC Field funding on hold; Luzerne County: SWB Yankees worth at least $25 million; Lackawanna County issues RFQ for PNC Field renovations; Debate rages over SWB Yankees sale; Yanks, Mandalay agree to buy SWB Yankees, unveil ballpark renovations; Compromise on the way in SWB ballpark squabble?; Rendell: Clock is ticking on new SWB ballpark financing; Counties continue spat; SWB Yankees likely to be sold this week; Lackawanna County: In a ballpark bind and mad; Squabbling could derail new SWB Yankees ballpark; Pols: Let's not fix up PNC Field -- or sell team to Mandalay, either

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