The man responsible for bringing the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees franchise to our area is speaking out about the on-going feud between Luzerne and Lackawanna counties over the Yankees, the upkeep of PNC Field and who pays for what.
Former Lackawanna County Commissioner Bob Cordaro said political leaders in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties are about to blow it, claiming their actions are alienating the Yankees, an organization that could bring stability and jobs.
“Let’s not screw it up with politics,” Cordaro said Tuesday.
He may be on the verge of going to trial, perhaps even prison, on public corruption charges but he said no one has had a closer relationship with the New York Yankees’ inner circle than him.
His message is make the Yankees happy and the Yankees can make northeastern Pennsylvania better for business.
“It gives us an entrée into the New York marketplace to where most of the corporate decisions in this country are made and it puts us in a good light in that media and in that business setting, so let’s use it,” Cordaro added.
The former commissioner brokered the deal that brought the Yankees to PNC Field in 2006, when he chaired the Lackawanna County commissioners. He said the deal included an option for the Yankees to buy the team at their wish.
The Yankees announced their plans to do so earlier this month and Cordaro said it’s up to local leadership to sell the team, take the money, along with a $20 million state grant, and either build a new stadium or fix the existing one.
“Cordaro (2) 12:39:44 we can lose the franchise if we don’t invest in the stadium, either way, that’s how the franchise could be lost.”
“And how bad would it be if we blew it?” Cordaro asked.
He said when he brokered the deal, the Yankees considered a plan for a Yankee-themed hotel complex, a Yankee museum and other attractions that would bring Yankee fans from New York City and around the northeast to our area.