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Official Review by Joshua Guiher, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
The new Yankee stadium is known to have all of the modern amenities; however, what is a game like at PNC Field, home of the Yankees AAA affiliate?
The Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees are the AAA affiliate for the New York Yankees and are located just 128 miles from their parent team. The SWB Yankees play in PNC Field, which was built in 1989. The Park holds 10,800 fans, although they rarely sell out.
The park setup itself is pretty basic, with 2 levels of seating with a suite/press box level in between. The lower box seats are green, while the seats well down the lines and in the upper deck are orange. They look to be recycled from an old major league field but I couldn't find any information on this. They are mislabeled in many places, leading to confusion over which seat is really yours.
For instance, my seat was in section 312, row D, seat 7, except the rows were labeled C, E then D and row "E" had the seats numbered 1, 2, 6, 4, 6, 4, 7. Thankfully they were only at around 30% capacity so I just went and sat by myself.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
I'll never understand why parks feel the need to limit the food options in the upper levels. Just because I don't want to pay for seats behind home plate doesn't mean I want to walk down an entire level to experience the full menu.
I was surprised that the Yankees had decent food prices. Upstairs options were hot dogs ($2.50) and jumbo dogs ($3.25, but you did have to pay 75%cent; each for kraut, chili and cheese), hamburger ($4.50), cheeseburger ($4.50), chicken sandwich ($5.75), burger combo meal ($10.25), jumbo dog combo ($9), fries ($4), jumbo fries ($6),and chicken tenders with fries ($7.75). Snack options were soft pretzels ($3), nachos ($4.50) and nachos supreme ($6).
Gyros were only downstairs and were $6.75 and comprised mainly of just lettuce. The same stand also had a featured dog ($4.25) and a featured burger ($6). Other downstairs only options were funnel cakes ($6), cinnamon churros (2/$3), apple or Bavarian cream churros (2/$3.50), cinnamon rolls ($4.50), meatball hoagie ($7.25), porketta sandwich ($7.25), mozzarella sticks ($7.25), fried ravioli ($7.25), homemade eclair ($5), homemade cannoli ($5), pizza (1 slice $2, 6 slices $11.50, 12 slices $20), cheesesteaks ($6.75), chicken cheesesteak ($6.75), sausage & peppers ($6.75), bratwurst ($5), dippin' dots ($4.50 & $6), and cotton candy ($3.50).
Drinks were Pepsi products with small $2.25, medium $2.75 and large $3.75 sizes; bottled water and Gatorade ($3.50) and bottled beer ($5.50). They also had fresh lemonade ($4) on the first floor.
There was also an all-you-can-eat section upstairs but I couldn't figure out how to purchase a wristband. The menu was hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken sandwiches and you could only take 1 at a time.
The atmosphere was the worst I have ever experienced at a sporting event. The only people who really participated in any of the entertainment options were people on the Bud Light deck. No one danced, no one really watched the between inning games, and no one clapped much except for home runs. I was bored.
The area has been hit pretty hard by the economy, but a recent casino that was built up the road has added some new buildings in the area. Finally the stadium isn't just built on a hillside in the middle of nowhere.
For some food before the game, try Grande Pizza & Family Restaurant. It is located just a short distance from the park and is excellent. In fact, it is the same pizza served at the park, just a lot cheaper.
I'm not sure if the fans ruined the atmosphere, or if the atmosphere turned off the fans. I just know that if the only person singing or dancing to "YMCA" is the mascot, you have a huge problem.
Just look at the pictures and notice the small crowd on a 78° Friday night with fireworks after the game. The announced attendance the night I was there was 7,048, which was an outright lie, just look at the pictures I took at first pitch.
It was easy to find right off of the main road, except there was no signage and the road is narrow, so traffic backs up quite quickly. All signs were for the concert pavilion next door. Parking was free and there was plenty of it.
The concourses were plenty wide and bathrooms weren't great, but ok.
Normally that would all result in a 4 or 5 star rating, but the mislabeled seats causing fan confusion was unacceptable. It can't cost that much to buy some stickers and put the interns to work for a day or two.
The atmosphere was terrible and the cheapest ticket was $10! By far the most expensive minor league ticket I have ever bought.
The Bud Light Bullpen was open to the public and they had a private deck out in left. Also, the fireworks display was nice and lasted almost 15 minutes.
I can certainly see why no one was at the game despite the ideal weather, it was one of the worst sports experiences of my life, and I go to around 100 events a year. News in the past few days has been that the team may "barnstorm" the 2012 season while the stadium undergoes a $40 million renovation. Let's hope that this also improves the atmosphere and fan interaction.
Member Review by FuriousShepherd on Jan 24, 2012
Been to three game here. Once I went in July. The weather was OK but a little cool. I went in April and froze. I went in May and froze. I like cold weather but Moosic is always about 20 degrees colder than any place around. The food is lousy, the fans disengaged, the ticket prices are awfully high for a AAA club and the crowds are predictably small. There are three things I like about this park. Parking is never a problem since the park is empty. The view of the stadium is interesting. The city of Scranton (home of Dunder Mifflin) may be a played out coal town but they have a surprising number of excellent ethnic restaurants.
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