The Yankees held a press conference at PNC Field this afternoon to announce two things.
1. They intend to exercise their option to purchase the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre franchise.
2. The Yankees plan to keep the franchise in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
“I wanted to come down so you hear from me directly,” Randy Levine said. “Let me say it on the record: the New York Yankees are in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, intend to be in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, love being in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and want to remain in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.”
There was considerable concern in the Scranton area when the Yankees were brought to town on a contract that included a purchase option. It seemed to open the door for relocation, but the Yankees seem to like it there, despite sagging attendance. The clubhouse and training facilities are top-notch, the playing surface is brand new and the location is near New York. The stadium itself is a mess and in need of significant repair — or a new place altogether — but Levine made it clear that the Yankees prefer to stay in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and not follow the Phillies out of town.
“They left,” he said. “We don’t intend to.”