Monday marks the first step in baseball's return to Lackawanna County in 2013 as representatives from the Lackawanna County Commissioners Office, the New York Yankees and Mandalay Baseball will join the Multi-Purpose Authority, the construction team, state officials and Moosic and Riverside officeholders to hold a ceremonial groundbreaking today (April 30) at 11:00 a.m. at the entry plaza to PNC Field.
"The effects of this project are truly far-reaching on a number of fronts - leisure, family and most importantly, economic expansion," said Commissioner Corey D. O'Brien. "Job creation, further growth in the surrounding communities and an opportunity for wholesome family fun make this a complete package. The stadium will impact our local economy and pay great dividends as we move forward to attract new opportunities, businesses and other ventures to the area."
"We are delighted to have completed our agreement with Lackawanna County and are excited about having our Triple-A team in Northeastern Pennsylvania for a long time to come," said Hal Steinbrenner, Yankees Managing General Partner. "I'd like to thank everyone involved for their persistence and collaboration on this project. Along with our partners, Mandalay Baseball, we are committed to providing a great fan experience and believe that the team and the stadium should both be points of pride for the community."
According to the Lackawanna County Commissioners and Daniel Lispi, President of DRL Consulting and Development of Harrisburg, once the stadium is finished and operating, it will infuse $9.4 million into the local economy and have a yearly economic impact of $47 million. The construction phase alone will generate $23.5 million in one-time revenue for working families and local businesses. Add to that, 350 construction jobs and the other ancillary spending, and taxes, and you have a financial recovery package that the area has not witnessed in quite some time.
"We are proud of our growing partnership with the New York Yankees and committed to creating a great experience for our team's fans in Northeastern Pennsylvania," said Peter Guber, Chairman of Mandalay Baseball. "We believe that this venue will be among the finest field of dreams in professional minor league baseball and an important jewel in Mandalay's professional sports assets and experiences."
"This is a great day for Lackawanna County because it marks the beginning of the rebirth of baseball in Northeastern Pennsylvania along with a continued partnership with Mandalay Baseball and the New York Yankees," said Commissioner Jim Wansacz. "We could not have accomplished the project without the help of Gov. Rendell and Gov. Corbett."
"The Yankees and Mandalay Baseball are to be commended for stepping up to the plate and making both a large financial commitment as well as a commitment to Northeastern Pennsylvania for the next 30 years," Wansacz added.
"We are excited about the stadium's modifications as it will be the final stop before the Bronx, and it's important to us that the facilities are top notch," said Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman. "Being only a couple hours from the Bronx is the optimal location for our team, and I look forward to our players taking their final steps towards the big leagues there."
Yankees Chief Operating Officer Lonn Trost said, "I'd like to compliment everyone who has been involved. We all worked hard to reach an agreement that is both balanced and long-reaching. We'd like to acknowledge both Governor Rendell and Governor Corbett for their support of this project and congratulate the Lackawanna County Commissioners and Stadium Authority for the foresight and the enthusiasm that they brought to the project. We're looking forward to a great long term relationship."
"This is truly a great day for Lackawanna County because baseball is back," said Commissioner Patrick M. O'Malley. "The negotiations were long and thought out, but they were vital for the proper evaluation of this project."
"Commencing in 2013, Northeastern Pennsylvania fans will be able to enjoy family fun in a newly modified venue with a variety of special amenities and affordable prices," O'Malley added.
"Getting the transaction completed is not the end, but rather a new beginning for Triple-A baseball in Northeastern Pennsylvania," said Art Matin, CEO of Mandalay Baseball Properties. "All of our focus is on ensuring that the ballpark is outstanding in every detail and that we inject fun and variety into the fan experience.
"The 10,000-fan capacity ballpark will have something for everyone, including a newly designed lawn seating area and kids zone for families," added Matin. "We are busy planning a full slate of events at the ballpark for 2013, including a broad range of promotions, giveaways, theme nights and special incentives."