Triple-A stadium situation could linger into 2013

ST Game Thread: Broken Up
2012 Season Preview: Speed Demons

The Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Empire State Yankees will be stuck on a season-long road trip this year, playing “home” game in six different cities as PNC Field is renovated. Apparently the renovation is actually a total replacement, as Josh Leventhal reports that the current stadium will be torn down and replaced with a new $40M facility. That’s great, but the problem is that demolition must start on April 1st in order for the place to be ready for next season.

According to Leventhal, the $14.5M sale of the team from Lackawanna county to the Yankees and Mandalay Bay is still being finalized. Those funds are needed for the new facility, so construction can’t begin until a deal is hammered out. International League president Randy Mobley says the two sides are still negotiating, but “with this construction start deadline rapidly approaching, it is all going to become pretty evident, pretty quickly, what is or isn’t going to happen.”

There is no contingency plan in place if the stadium is not ready in time for Opening Day 2013. “This is a one-year arrangement, not to be repeated,” said Mobley of the team’s unfortunate 2012 plans. It’s bad enough that some of the organization’s best prospects will be stuck on the road all year with the Triple-A squad, doing something similar in 2013 would be a disaster. Everyone involved — especially the Yankees — has every reason to want to get a deal done so construction can start on time, and I suspect it will.

ST Game Thread: Broken Up
2012 Season Preview: Speed Demons
  • RetroRob

    Perhaps the Yankees can arrange for a loan up front until the deal is finalized, unless that very act will weaken leverage, or cause a complete collapse of the deal.

    Seems like Lackawanna county has been a problem all along here.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Coming to crash on your couch: The 2013 Empire State Yankees.

  • Jason

    PNC Field is not getting torn down it is getting a massive refurbishment. The entire upper deck is going to be torn down but they are not building an entirely new stadium. Lackawanna county received a $10 million dollar grant from the state to remodel the stadium. I live in the Scranton Wilkes Barre area and I go to SWB Yankees games and there is never anyone there. The stadium is in horrible condition and that is the main reason that the Phillies pulled their Triple A franchise and moved them to Allentown. From my point of view the Yankees couldn’t have been better to deal with while Lackawanna county is being stubborn. I would not be surprised if the Yankees take this team elsewhere.

  • Platano Man

    Hey, My grandmother has a big enough backyard in the Dominican Republic. She wouldn’t mind them playing there if it means seeing Leo Nunez and Carmona playing for the Yankees Triple A squad while they are stuck in DR.

  • fin

    It seems very poor planning for the Yankees to be left with the horrible situation that the 2012 AAA team finds it self in. The spectre of the same thing happening in 2013 is pretty much unimaginable. If heads havent already rolled for this cluster fuck, I’m sure some would if it happend again next year. I dont know if this will hurt the development of guys like Many and Delin, but I’m certain it isnt going to help any. Traveling all over the place by bus for a full season has to be exhausting. I do alot of traveling for my job and I get very tired, but at least I have a home base to go back to and recharge.

    • Plank

      AAA players make a decent enough living to get an apartment close enough to most of their ‘home’ games that they have a home base. Players in the minors don’t make a lot, but players in AAA make enough to support a family on.

  • jack knife

    based on spring training any one u guys see as a possible AAA guy who didnt figure in AAA at the start

  • Rob Lettieri

    It seems like so few people care about this that it seems unnecessary to even rebuild.