PNC Field Review

The Review of PNC Field Rating: 5
by Malcolm MacMillan
  • Major renovation project paid dividends
  • Open design makes this park a gem
A 2012 renovation to the tune of more than $40 million has transformed PNC Field into a minor league gem.

If you visited PNC Field before the 2013 International League season, and weren’t thrilled with your experience, it’s time to visit again. While it’s common for ballparks to make changes every few years, PNC Field received the mother of all renovations in 2012 and it’s safe to say you won’t recognize the “old” ballpark at all.

Speaking of that old park, it opened in 1989 and was called Lackawanna County Stadium through the 2006 season. The park had a giant, 1980s stadium feel in the vast seating bowl and dark, closed-off concourses below. More than $40 million later, the new and much-improved PNC Field offers one of the best experiences in the International League, if not Minor League Baseball.

Gone are the empty upper deck of seats and dark, dingy concourses. The renovation project was so extensive that the home club played its entire 2012 campaign as a travel team. Known as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees between 2007 and 2011, the club temporarily rebranded itself the Empire State Yankees for its 2012 season. When PNC opened in 2013, the club took the name of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders after a naming contest.

I visited PNC Field in 2011 and found it badly in need of a facelift. Obviously, I was thrilled to hear of the major renovations planned and couldn't wait to get back in 2013. The park absolutely blew me away. It instantly became one of my favorite ballpark experiences and it's safe to say the new PNC Field is one of the nicest you'll find in the minors.