Moosic, Pa. - If you build it, they will come - sure, everybody knows that. But what if you build upon it and enhance it all the more? In 2014, NEPA will find out. After a successful first season at the reconstructed PNC Field, Ballpark Digest's 2013 Ballpark of the Year, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders' (Triple-A/New York Yankees) encore campaign will include a number of additions and improvements throughout the state-of-the-art facility.
"Standing pat is not an option for us," said RailRiders president/GM Rob Crain. "As an organization, we are always looking for ways we can provide an even better experience for our guests at the ballpark. Yes, last year was successful. But we want 2014 to be even better. We believe investments like these additions and enhancements benefit everyone - our organization, our fans and our community."
As for the breakdown of those improvements, the granddaddy of them all is the new Oak Grove Deck. Designed by DX Dempsey, the 1,145-square-foot destination location will be used for private picnics before games, and as a communal gather space during games. Connected to the Budweiser Railhouse in right field, you won't miss this new iconic piece of PNC Field thanks to the lighting of trees in the area and string lights that will create a dynamic atmosphere. Mark May 22 on your calendars as its anticipated completion date. That would have it ready in time for a date with a divisional foe, a Thirsty Thursday homestand opener against the Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota Twins).
While everyone's rocking and rolling on the Oak Grove Deck in the outfield, upstairs ballpark's premier location, the Mohegan Sun Club, has even more added to its already diverse perks. The team has partnered with the Lackawanna County Arts & Cultural center to commission a new entrance mural. The colorful family-friendly display captures the magic of baseball, Northeastern Pennsylvania and a sense of community. Additionally, the team has created new soft seating areas that afford more intimate conversations. Not one for idle chit-chat? Pass the time with a brand new shuffle board table provided by Gebhardts in Wilkes-Barre in the high-top areas.
In 2013, the RailRiders set a record for birthday party sales. With the public speaking through its overwhelming purchase power support, the team listened and beefed things up with a better space to service the demand. Voila! PNC Field now sports a new area on the third-base side, the Utz Birthday Burrow. Happy birthday to you indeed with picnic-table seating for up to 80 people, multiple flat-screen televisions and a private food pick-up area.
The games beyond the game have grown even more plentiful with the infusion of the RibbitRiders and Porcupine Putt-Putt. A flying-frog carnival game, RibbitRiders will take place near the left-field gate. Fans can splish and splash their way to prizes with a bucket of frogs to shoot in the air for just $2. Or, they can keep things on the ground while working on their short-game with Porcupine Putt-Putt. Near the entrance of the Family Fun Zone, $2 will net three putts while a hole-in-one means a prize for the celebratory victors.
Last, but certainly not least, foodies of the world can unite each night at PNC Field with a cornucopia of new concession items. The signature dishes include:
Funnel Cake Fries: Funnel cake in the size and shape of French fries? Delici-awesome.
Buffalo Chips: Stadium-made kettle chips - buffalo wing sauce - chicken - blue cheese crumbles
Cheesesteak Fries: French fries - sliced beef rib/chicken - melted cheddar - diced tomato - green onion
"The Champ" Dog: Jumbo hot dog - Bent Buckle pulled pork - BBQ sauce - slaw - pickle spear
Quesadillas: Flour tortilla - shredded cheddar - choice of chicken/pulled pork/taco meat/brisket - sour cream - salsa
Crazy Cow ice cream and novelties: Includes flavor shot ice cream where fans can instantly choose from 30 different ice cream flavors. Also, Italian ice and warm apple dumplings will now be available
Other new items: Burger sliders, spicy chicken sliders, smoked turkey legs, mini-churros, super ropes, giant cookies
The RailRiders' 2014 season begins on Thursday, April 3 when the club kicks off a seven-game road trip at Syracuse against the Chiefs (Washington Nationals).The home slate commences a week later on Thursday, April 10 when the Chiefs visit PNC Field for a four-game series and homestand. For season ticket information, single-game tickets or to book a ballpark group outing, call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
- SWB RailRiders - All Aboard! -
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.