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.
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