The Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Class AAA; International League) will remain at Coca-Cola Park through 2045, as one of baseball’s biggest success stories over the last decade will stay in Allentown’s IronPigs Way thanks to a lease extension.
The extension, announced today, allows $18.1 million in ballpark debt to be refinanced by Lehigh County as a result of the new lease, as those bonds are backed by the team’s rent. The new lease needs to be approved by county commissioners, but that’s expected to pass easily.
“The Lehigh Valley has proven to be a great home for the IronPigs and we look forward to at least another 29 seasons,” team co-owner Joe Finley said in a statement. “The ability to take advantage of a refinancing opportunity now ensures our ability to continually enhance the fan experience and we already have some exciting plans for the 2017 season — our 10th anniversary.”
As noted, the IronPigs franchise is one of baseball’s huge success stories in the last decade. Since 2008, the IronPigs have drawn 5,593,412 fans to Coca-Cola Park and averaged 8,978 per regular season home game — a number that actually exceeds Coca-Cola Park’s fixed seating capacity of 8,089. Every seat in the ballpark has been sold for 436 of the 623 (70.0 percent) all-time regular season games (including 47 times in 70 home dates this season) with 145 all-time capacity crowds of 10,000 or more. We named it Ballpark of the Year in 2008; since then it’s been expanded four times and just keeps getting better every season.