The Rochester Red Wings announced today that the New York Yankees Triple-A affiliate, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, will play 37 of their home games at Frontier Field in 2012 while their ballpark in Scranton (PNC Field) undergoes a $40-million renovation.
Batavia’s Dwyer Stadium, home of the New York-Penn League short-season Single-A Batavia Muckdogs, who are managed and operated by Rochester Community Baseball, Inc., will host seven games.
“We are delighted to be able to bring these additional Triple-A baseball games to the fans of the Rochester and Batavia areas," said Red Wings President/CEO/COO Naomi Silver. "This expanded schedule will provide lots more opportunities for our fans to enjoy additional games during the upcoming season. We’ve put a considerable amount of time and effort into working with the Scranton ballclub to make this a reality.
“We very much appreciate the franchises in Rochester, Batavia, Syracuse, Buffalo, Lehigh Valley and Pawtucket welcoming us into their stadiums and hosting our SWB Triple-A team’s games next season. We will establish our base of operations in Rochester with more than half our home games played right there in Rochester.
New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said: "This will be a very interesting experience for our players and we’re looking forward to having our highest-level prospects playing in front of the legions of Yankees fans all across Upstate New york and into Allentown and Pawtucket. In 2013, we will return to Scranton Wilkes-Barre to a dramatically rebuilt stadium which will be our Triple-A home for a very long time."
“We are all excited about this opportunity, but we are also aware of the challenges that are ahead of us as an organization. Without a staff like we currently have in place, we wouldn’t have been able to consider this opportunity. We feel there is no better place than Frontier Field for Scranton to play,” Silver added.
The International League has approved the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees plan to play all 72 of their 2012 home games at alternate locations while renovations to PNC Field take place this off-season.
International League President Randy Mobley said: "As the title of a current article in 'Baseball America' states 'Passion Runs Deep in Rochester.' There are many baseball-loving communities in Minor League Baseball, but there is none that has supported the game for a longer period of time or loves the game any greater than in Rochester. There may not be another community or organization in Minor League Baseball that could tackle this challenge in this manner.
"The International League is grateful to both the Red Wings and Muckdogs organizations for being the cornerstone elements in establishing a home base for the Scranton/W-B Yankees games in 2012."
For the last several weeks, SWB Yankees LLC and the International League have been working diligently on a final proposal to have Scranton/Wilkes-Barre play all their home games at alternate locations in 2012.
“From an economic development standpoint it will also be a home run for our community because it will create more jobs, fill more hotel rooms, and spur on more business in our community thanks to the Yankees and visiting teams being here for those additional 37 dates," said Red Wings General Manager Dan Mason.
"This should also be an economic boom for Batavia as well as a great opportunity for Muckdogs fans to see Triple-A baseball in their own backyard for the first time ever."
Scranton, for the most part, will make Upstate NY their home away from home in 2012. In addition to the 37 home games at Frontier Field, Scranton will play six home games in Buffalo, seven in Batavia, and 10 in Syracuse.
Scranton will also play eight games in Lehigh Valley and four games in Pawtucket.
“The International league has always prided itself in helping each other out when needed," Mason said. "The Scranton/W-B club needed a place to play and we were happy to come to their assistance along with our North Division partners in Buffalo, Syracuse, Pawtucket and Lehigh Valley. This is a shining example of the spirit of cooperation within the International League."