The new owners of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees are promising big things for the team's 2013 season.
Officials with Mandalay Baseball and the New York Yankees were in town Monday to kick off the renovation work, which officially began at PNC Field.
The new owners are promising fan-friendly games with more give-a-ways and are drawing mixed reaction from baseball lovers in this area.
Renovation work officially got underway at PNC Field as the home of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees undergoes a $43 million face lift.
The new owners of the team, the head of Mandalay Baseball and the chief operating officer of the New York Yankees came here to kick off the work.
After buying the team from the stadium authority for $14.6 million, Mandalay and the New York Yankees are promising to offer more fan-friendly games with more give-a-ways and more reasons to come out.
“We've done some of that, but we haven't done it on a broad scale,” said Art Matin, the president of Mandalay Baseball. “We're going to do it on a broad scale because that's what the fans have been telling us they've been looking for."
At high school baseball games around Lackawanna County, many baseball fans said they are glad to hear the Yankees' new owners pledging this new approach.
They want to see the newly-remodeled PNC Field filled next season.
“It's good for the taxpayers. Hopefully great for the fans and of course, it's great for the Yankees and everybody here will show up for all the games,” said Tony Gaetano.
Ronnie Somple said he has had season tickets to the stadium for years.
He's hopeful the team can bring the crowds back.
“The Phillies were really good hosts and if the Yankees can measure up to what the Phillies were doing and promote the local team little bit more, I believe we'll have a lot more fans at the stadium,” said Somple.
The new owners says they'll be looking at prices at the stadiums in Allentown and Reading and will make costs similar at the new PNC Field.
Still some fans aren't quite sold.
“I’ll believe it when I see it, trust me,” said Jack Young. “I'm a Yankee fan. I've gone to Yankee Stadium. I know what the prices are there. I'm pretty sure it's going to be close to what they're charging,” said Jack Young.
The new owners said they are also considering changing the team’s name to help draw non-Yankee fans. They are asking for public input for suggestions.