PNC Field: Home of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders

PNC Field: Home of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders
The entrance of PNC Field in Moosic, Pa. The stadium features a modern design after undergoing massive renovations in 2013.

Nestled in the foothills of Montage Mountain sits a beautiful stadium that serves as a reminder that a quality stadium doesn't require a bustling downtown location. In fact, at PNC Field in Moosic, Pa. you wont find a city or houses surrounding this ballpark, just mountains, trees, and rocks which created a very unique atmosphere.

Arriving at the stadium, you exit off of I-81 and take a small access road that winds and bends between the hills of Montage Mountain (the road is effectively named Montage Mountain Road). About a mile or so down this access road, signs direct you into a parking lot entrance that is hidden within the forest that holds the stadium. Typically, ballparks have a loud dominance over the area they are in. Whether that be unique architecture or large signs, but in this case, there was none of that. While that might seem counter intuitive, I think the secretiveness of this ballpark adds a whole new element to the experience. In fact, I would go as far to say that I don't think any other ballpark in America can replicate the vibes of PNC Field. And we haven't even entered the ballpark yet....

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees since 2007)
Established: 1989, as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons
Ballpark: PNC Field (opened 1989, renovated 2013)
League: International League
Notable Alumni: Brett Gardner, Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley
Championships: 2008, 2016

Location/ Scenery/ Amenities (4.5/5)

I really enjoyed the beautiful simplistic views that PNC Field offered. What struck me first was the rocks in the outfield which I thought was similar to Angel Stadium in Los Angeles. Whether that was done on purpose or not, it added an extra element to the scenery. Without that, you are just looking at a forest of trees. I also liked the hotels that were perched up at the top of the hill.

Looking at other parts of the ballpark, I think the ballpark did a really great job of creating areas for fans to get a different experience of the game outside of just sitting in their designated seat for the whole game. For example, there was a full bar (bottom right picture) in the outfield, a large outfield berm which was called the Home Run Zone, as well as a standing rail all around the stadium. These are small touches but are still important to the overall fan experience. The location of this ballpark is good but could be better. As I said before, I really enjoyed that this ballpark was hidden in a mountain range, but the stadium does sit quite a ways outside the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area which makes for a longer drive for fans in the city.

Food (1/5)

The food at PNC Field was just terrible, there's no other way to put it. There was little creativity in the menus. I ordered the Triple Play Dog ($12.26) which was the most creative thing I found. The footlong hot dog was wrapped in bacon and topped with pulled pork, fried onions, and BBQ sauce. While it sounds amazing, the pulled pork was cold, the fried onions were soggy, and the bacon was rubbery. There was nothing to like about this hot dog. The only saving grace in this ballpark was the ice cream ($6) which really hit the spot. It was also thirsty Thursday which meant that beers were just $2 which adds a few sympathy points onto this category. Other than that, the food scene was pretty atrocious which is a shame for a ballpark with so much potential.

Entertainment (4/5)

The entertainment aspect of PNC Field did not disappoint like the food did. There were plenty of on field games as well as a contest of how fast a foam noodle could be passed along the stadium which was enjoyable to watch. In addition to the on field games, the ballpark had a batting simulator called the Power Zone. For $5 you get five swings. You can choose from all 30 MLB ballparks and your speed, distance, and power is measured and can be seen in the simulator. I did not get a chance to try it but it looked pretty cool. It was something I've never seen before adding to the excitement of this ballpark.

Sam's Score: 63.3/100

PNC Field is a great ballpark for anyone in the region. While the score might be lower than you'd expect after reading my thoughts, the element of food specifically really dragged down this score. Don't be fooled though, this is an amazing ballpark. In fact, I'd put this in my top three in terms of scenery for a ballpark.