By Mike Harrington
MOOSIC, Pa. -- The Bisons are back at PNC Field tonight for the first time since Sept. 5, 2011 but it's not the same place they made regular visits to during their stints in both the Triple-A Alliance and the International League.
The home of the newly-christened Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders was completely reconstructed during the last year (Remember, the then-SWB Yankees played the whole year on the road!) and it's quite an improvement for both specators and players. There's a 360-degree open concourse, grass berm in the outfield, party areas, HD video boards and a club level complete with buffet restaurant.
The huge concrete cavern of an upper deck is gone. The place seats about 7,200 with room for another couple thousand in the outfield. It's intimate and scenic, on the base of Montage Mountain. It's about a 4-hour drive from Buffalo and worth the trip. Be sure to look for a big look at the park next week in The News.
As for tonight's game, it's the opener of a four-game series and an eight-game road trip. Claudio Vargas (4-5) is on the mound for the Bisons. Jim Negrych is again starting at third base, trying to increase his versatility. The RailRiders are averaging 5,162 a game in their new home but are only 11-17 so we'll see what impact the park has as the summer moves along.
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