The bustling and vibrant communities of Luzerne County offer all the recreation or entertainment options residents expect from a thriving community of more than 312,000 people. Thanks to Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza, our 240,000 square foot, 8500 permanent seat, regional, multipurpose arena and convention center, sports fans in the Wilkes-Barre and Scranton areas have many opportunities to cheer for their favorite teams. In the summer of 2005, Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal ranked the Wilkes-Barre Scranton market as the second best minor league market in the country.
NASCAR fans will find the Pocono Raceway less than an hour away – with two major races per season. The annual Giant’s Despair Hill Climb in Laurel Run is the oldest sports car hill climb in America. Mountain Speedway near Hazleton offers amateur race car drivers the opportunity to compete.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers play professional arena football – April through July. The Pioneers are in the American Conference and Northeast Division of arenafootball2. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are the AHL farm team of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons play Triple A baseball at the Lackawanna County Stadium in Moosic near Montage Mountain. The Barons are an affiliate of the New York Yankees. In addition to the teams that call Wachovia Arena home, the arena also offers pre-season NHL hockey, WWE Wrestling, professional bull riding, Arena Cross and other touring sporting events.
Harness Racing fans find exciting action at Wilkes-Barre’s Pocono Downs, which has recently been acquired by the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut. Work began in September of 2005 on a $47 million renovation of the existing grandstand. This expansion will allow Pocono Downs to start operating two thousand slot machines as soon as Pennsylvania issues conditional licenses to its numerous horse racing venues.
Bowlers will find many outstanding facilities to satisfy their needs, whether that is family recreational bowling on a Friday night, or competitive league bowling. Movie theaters, mainly multiplex chains, are located throughout Luzerne County, but single screen movie theaters also still exist. The Wilkes-Barre Rock Climbing Gym in downtown Wilkes-Barre offers mountain climbing lessons, practice and competition.