PNC Field

From BR Bullpen

PNC Field front view.jpeg

Fast Facts[edit]

Opened: Lackawanna County Stadium, April 26, 1989

Nickname: The Lack

Renamed: PNC Field (naming rights contract), 2007

Rebuilt and re-opened: PNC Field, April 4, 2013

Address: 235 Montage Mountain Road, Moosic, PA 18505

Cost: $25 million (original); $43 million (rebuild)

Style: Multi-purpose

Construction Materials: Concrete and Steel

Capacity: 11,000

Field: AstroTurf until 2007, natural grass since then

Tenants: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons (1989-2006); Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (2007-2011); Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (2013-)

Visitors: 600,000/year

The Stadium[edit]

PNC Field inside.jpeg

PNC Field in Moosic, PA, is the home of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the New York Yankees' International League farm team. It was also the Yanks' 2020 Coronavirus pandemic alternate training site.

Lackawanna County Stadium opened in 1989 as home to a Philadelphia Phillies' affiliate called the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons. For baseball games, its playing field originally had the same dimensions as the Phillies' Veterans Stadium. It was believed that having the Phillies' top prospects playing in a similar ballpark would help them better adjust to the big leagues when they were called up - an idea now in play in several other farm systems including the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates.

The year 2007 brought two major changes: natural grass replaced the original artificial turf, and a naming contract changed its moniker to PNC Field.

"The Lack" became a relic when, 16 years after it opened, the Phillies moved into a new ballpark and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre franchise affiliated with the Yankees - who in fact purchased a half-interest in the club. PNC Park was probably the last of the cookie-cutter stadiums, which dominated Major League Baseball in the 1960s and 1970s. In addition to minor league baseball, amateur events that have taken place here include: high school, college and semi-pro football; high school soccer and field hockey; and both professional and high school band competitions. The parking lot of the stadium has also been used for events such as 3-on-3 basketball, flea markets, car shows and craft shows.

PNC was rebuilt in 2012, so thoroughly that the team played its entire season on the road as the Empire State Yankees. The project was originally billed as a renovation, but the facility was deconstructed to the seating bowl and called "brand new" at the "open house" that introduced it. The result is a 21st-century stadium with a family-friendly environment that also has bars and restaurants in the bleacher areas with views of the games. A walkway all the way around the field allows fans to see it from all angles. The stadium is in the Pocono Mountains, which provide its most distinguishing feature: the rock face beyond the outfield fence and a mountain beyond center field with a hotel and restaurant visible on top.

The ballpark made national news on the third day of its new life, April 6, 2013, when fireworks set off after a game started a forest fire in a wooded area behind the outfield fence.

The Lack hosted the 1995 Triple-A All-Star Game and PNC was scheduled to do so again in 2020, but the game was lost to the pandemic. It narrowly missed becoming the first venue to host its own team in a Triple-A Baseball National Championship - in a way, twice. The event, which is played at pre-determined so theoretically neutral sites, was scheduled at PNC in 2017; ironically, the 'Riders won the 2016 game, thus missing being both participant and host by just a year. Then, they made the 2017 playoffs but missed getting into the title game by one playoff series.

PNC Field is not to be confused with PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA, although the two ballparks share a corporate sponsor.

Related Sites[edit]

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