The new face of baseball for Northeastern Pennsylvania will be available for the local area to enjoy early this spring. The Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre RailRiders will debut their opening day on Thursday April 4 in Moosic with a full line up of events for guests to celebrate the opening of a new state of the art ballpark. President and general manager of the team, Rob Crain, visited the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 20 where he went over plans and specifics for the future park. Although there is still a little time until the doors will open and guests will be welcomed into the new park, Crain expressed his enthusiasm towards the efforts of creating PNC field, “We are very, very excited.”
Crain depicted a family-oriented, affordable and fun experience that he hopes to provide for game attendees throughout the season. The president explained that each game will be more of an event that simply a baseball game, with the days of the week offering a feature special. With 72 games scheduled for the season, many events have been planned and catered towards the variety of people that attend the games, including kids, families, friends, and the true baseball fans. PNC field will have various family activities, including family fun day, which will run every Sunday and include events such as face painting, clowns and player autograph opportunities. Some of the season’s other evening game promotions include Monday’s $1 hot dogs, Wednesday’s kids under 12 eat free promotion, and post-game fireworks every Friday, along with many more events for every day of the week. The RailRiders are also launching their very own kid’s club to involve kids in the game, which will give them access to various events, free merchandise, chances to win game tickets and more. Although the park has been completely redone and enhanced, Crain explained that much focus has been put on making the baseball experience very affordable so that everyone can enjoy. Tickets start at seven dollars and packages and events will be running daily.
Some more new additions to look forward to in the upcoming season include a party pavilion, party decks and suites, and a newly created VIP club with a private bar and gourmet buffet. The ballpark has also made many upgrades to its lighting and graphics by adding a large high definition LED wall and high definition ribbon boards. Crain shared his excitement about the new enhancements for the field, “PNC field is the most technologically advanced ballpark I’ve ever been a part of.”
Although the original mascot CHAMP is still around, the SWB RailRiders plan to add two new currently unnamed mascots for the season. The RailRiders are getting kids opinions this year on what to name the mascots and will be visiting local schools to show off the new mascots and get some potential names.
In an effort to create more diversity for the field, Crain went over how the team has been hard at work creating expansions to make the stadium more versatile outside of game days. Crain shared his hope for the new ballpark, “We want PNC field to be the front porch of the community.” PNC field hopes to open up the field for special community and high school events as well as opening up their new VIP club for events.
The Scranton / Wilkes-Barre will still continue to be partially owned by the New York Yankees, sporting white jerseys with a navy pin stripe, and the Yankees logo will remain on the uniform. Crain commented on the decision for a name change, “We needed a local identity that no matter who you’re a fan of, the RailRiders are our team.”