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Sale, ballpark issues for SWB Yankees settled

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre YankeesThe long-awaited sale of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (Class AAA; International League) and a 30-year lease for a renovated PNC Field could be wrapped up by Thursday.

Officials with Lackawanna County say they’ve reached an agreement with Mandalay Baseball Properties and the New York Yankees to sell the team for $14.6 million and commit the team for 30 years to PNC Field. The county will then flip the sales proceeds back into a $40-million renovation of the ballpark, which has been on hold while the two sides hammer out a deal. (The state is picking up $40 million of the cost of the project.)

The ballpark lease was the sticking point, as the two sides debated the finer points of the lease. The base lease is 30 years; with options, it could extend to 50.

The Multi-Purpose Stadium Authority will hear details about the lease tonight, while Lackawanna County could approve a deal as soon as Thursday. Time is of the essence: ballpark renovations must be completed in time for the 2013 season (the SWB Yankees are playing on the road this season), and architects Ewing Cole have presented a fairly major renovation plan, which includes the demolition of the current upper deck, to be replaced by an open concourse and a second-level suite/press level.

One potential roadblock: Luzerne County, which owns half of the SWB Yankees, may challenge the sale in court.

RELATED STORIES: Rose steps down as SWB Yankees presidentRochester puts out welcome mat for SWB Yankees;SWB Yankees sale, PNC Field renovations still pendingCould SWB ballpark shift to downtown Scranton?SWB Yankees adopt Empire State moniker for 2012Sale still pending for SWB Yankees; could team depart?SWB Yankees to play as road team for 2012Could SWB Yankees stay in Scranton for 2012?Surprise player in SWB Yankees temporary home: NewarkDecision on SWB Yankees fate delayedOttawa out of running for SWB Yankees — but in line for affiliated ballNY Yankees making moves with minor-league teams; Corbett OKs SWB ballpark renovation fundsJudge: Lackawanna County entitled to keep ballpark profitsPNC Field funding on holdLuzerne County: SWB Yankees worth at least $25 millionLackawanna County issues RFQ for PNC Field renovationsDebate rages over SWB Yankees saleYanks, Mandalay agree to buy SWB Yankees, unveil ballpark renovationsCompromise on the way in SWB ballpark squabble?;Rendell: Clock is ticking on new SWB ballpark financingCounties continue spat; SWB Yankees likely to be sold this weekLackawanna County: In a ballpark bind and mad;Squabbling could derail new SWB Yankees ballparkPols: Let’s not fix up PNC Field — or sell team to Mandalay, either


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