SBD/April 27, 2012/Franchises

Triple-A Yankees Sold To Partnership Between Mandalay Baseball, MLB Club

The Lackawanna County (Pa.) Multipurpose Stadium Authority on Thursday formally ratified by a 4-1 vote the sale of the Triple-A Int'l League Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees to SWB Yankees LLC, a joint partnership between the MLB Yankees and Mandalay Baseball Properties, completing a deal more than 18 months in development. The $14.6M sale of the team formally sets in motion a long-planned $43.3M renovation of PNC Field, the club's ballpark, in time for the '13 season. The deal experienced many delays as public officials at various points questioned the operational tenure of Mandalay over the minor-league team, the sale price thought to be low by Triple-A standards and a wide variety of other details. "We've now forged a very strong partnership with the county and have a shared vision of having this be one of the very top franchises in Minor League Baseball," said Mandalay Baseball Properties CEO Art Matin. "This feels like a new beginning. The road to getting the deal is done, but there's still a lot of work in front of us. But we're now into the fun part of the work." The PNC Field work will require a substantial overhaul of the aging facility in just 11 months, as the Int'l League has no plans to recreate the team's nomad schedule this year in which will play "home" games in six other cities. "Would we like an additional six months? Sure, who wouldn't? But we're going into this believing and fully committed to the notion that we're going to be ready at the end of March for next year's Opening Day," Matin said. Demolition work at PNC Field will begin as soon as Friday. The deal between the county and SWB Yankees LLC includes a 30-year stadium lease with two additional 10-year options.
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