Friday, April 20, 2012


It is something I would do at the beginning of every Red Barons/Yankees baseball season.  I'd look at the schedule to see how many Friday and Saturday games were listed, and what times they would start.

The reason?  Night games would usually end as my shift at the TV station was starting.  I'd have to leave home a few minutes early to compensate for traffic at the poorly designed Montage Mountain Road/Davis Street/Interstate 81 interchange.  Getting stuck for a few lights was the norm.

But something changed about six years ago.  Attendance at games started to dip, and in some years, it plunged.  Traffic was no longer an issue.  This year, the point is totally moot.  The team is now known as the Empire State Yankees.  As they say in the old neighborhood, they don't play here no more.

We do know stadium construction teams have "mobilized" according to the Lackawanna County Commissioners.  It sounds like we're invading a foreign land.  The mobilization was meant to precede an agreement to sell the team to the NY Yankees and Mandalay, but keep it here.  That magnificent mobilization announcement was made a couple weeks ago.  We're still waiting for the real deal to arrive.

So, if and when the stadium is renovated, the capacity will be lowered.  The people running this think and hope the fans will come back.  I'm sure the "new" stadium will provide an attendance bump.  How much, and how long it lasts is anyone's guess.  It'll take more than a pretty park to put butts in the seats.

I wonder if the day will ever come when I'll go back to checking the schedule.