It should feel like a new ballpark: officials with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (Class AAA; International League) and Lackawanna County broke ground today on a PNC Field facelift.
The $43.3-million renovation of the Moosic, Pa. ballpark, years in the making, has finally begun after the $14.6-million sale of the SWB Yankees last week to the New York Yankees and Mandalay Baseball Properties.
"The effects of this project are truly far-reaching on a number of fronts -- leisure, family and most importantly, economic expansion," said Commissioner Corey O'Brien. "Job creation, further growth in the surrounding communities and an opportunity for wholesome family fun make this a complete package. The stadium will impact our local economy and pay great dividends as we move forward to attract new opportunities, businesses and other ventures to the area."
"We are delighted to have completed our agreement with Lackawanna County and are excited about having our Triple-A team in Northeastern Pennsylvania for a long time to come," said Hal Steinbrenner, Yankees Managing General Partner. "I'd like to thank everyone involved for their persistence and collaboration on this project. Along with our partners, Mandalay Baseball, we are committed to providing a great fan experience and believe that the team and the stadium should both be points of pride for the community."
"We are proud of our growing partnership with the New York Yankees and committed to creating a great experience for our team's fans in Northeastern Pennsylvania," said Peter Guber, Chairman of Mandalay Baseball. "We believe that this venue will be among the finest field of dreams in professional minor league baseball and an important jewel in Mandalay's professional sports assets and experiences."
Site prep on the project began last week, immediately after the Lackawanna County Multi-Purpose Stadium Authority approved the sale of the team. Today was the official groundbreaking, with dignitaries from the political and sports worlds at hand.
The renovation of the ballpark calls for an installation of a wrapraround berm and the removal of the current upper deck, to be replaced the actual demolition of the second deck. The concrete foundation would be poured by June 1, with the steel infrastructure installed beginning Aug. 15. The ballpark would be ready for occupancy by March 24, 2013.
Rendering courtesy of Lackawanna County and Ewing Cole.
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