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02/01/2008 3:42 PM ET
2008 Tabbed as "Year of the Bisons Fan"
Offermann stadium, slinky highlight large giveaway list

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With Opening Day just 70 days away, the Buffalo Bisons today announced their 2008 promotional calendar for "The Year of the Bisons Fan!" With an extensive list of special events and giveaways throughout the summer, the Bisons plan to continue the strong tradition of providing the most affordable family entertainment option in Western New York.

The Bisons will open their 123rd season of professional baseball with a fridaynightbash!®, April 11 against the Toledo Mud Hens at Dunn Tire Park (6:05 p.m.).

 "After a successful tribute to our ballpark in 2007, we wanted to extend the celebration and focus on the great Bisons fans of Western New York," said Mike Buczkowski, Bisons Vice President/General Manager. "We want to show our appreciation to our record-breaking fans more than ever in 2008."

"The Year of the Bisons Fan!"
There are no greater sports fans in the world than the ones in Western New York. And while Dunn Tire Park has always represented the best sports and family entertainment option in the area, the Bisons are taking it up a notch in 2008. New In-Game Contests will allow fans the opportunity to walk away from the ballpark with as much as $10,000. The team has also formed the Bisons Prize Patrol that will roam the ballpark throughout the season and randomly award giveaways, gift certificates, seat upgrades and more to fans! Not at the ballpark? The Prize Patrol will make appearances at local events to extend the Bisons appreciation throughout the area.

Kids' Week Returns to Season-Opening Homestand
The first two fridaynightbash!® nights of the season bookend a fantastic eight-game homestand that begins the Bisons' 2008 home schedule. On Friday, April 11, the Bisons will hold their Home Opener against the Toledo Mud Hens while handing out their 2008 Magnetic Schedules, present by AIG. Saturday, April 12 - Thursday, April 17 will mark the return of Anderson's presents Kids' Week. All games that week will have 1:05 p.m. game starts, a special $6 ticket, food and merchandise discounts and special activities for all children.

WNY Tradition fridaynightbash!® Nights Return in 2008
A staple of every summer in Downtown Buffalo is the Bisons' fridaynightbash!® series, with pre game parties and post game fireworks. The tradition continues in 2008 with 10 dates on the schedule. It all starts two hours before the game as fans can come out to the ballpark early and enjoy food and drink discounts. Each pre game party will also feature some great live music from a local band ranging from classic rock to modern pop. Zambelli Fireworks Internationale, world-famous for their work at Super Bowls and New Year's Eve events, will provide the award-winning post game Fireworks Shows, sponsored by HSBC Bank, USA N.A.  

New Festival Night Added for 2008!
The Bisons will continue their festival night series on Tuesday nights throughout the summer. New on the schedule this season is the Fat Tuesday Festival on Tuesday, June 3 vs. Rochester at 7:05 p.m. Returning are old favorites Irish Night (June 17 vs. Durham, 7:05 p.m.), Italian Night (July 22 vs. Norfolk, 7:05 p.m.) and Polish Night (August 5 vs. Indianapolis, 7:05 p.m.) Come to the ballpark and enjoy all of your favorite ethnic food, music and entertainment at a pre-game tent party and throughout the game. Each festival night will end with an in-park Pyrotechnics Show, sponsored by HSBC Bank, USA N.A.  

The Skies Light Up Around Dunn Tire Park
With the combination of 10 fridaynightbash!® parties and four Festival Night events, the skies above Dunn Tire Park will be filled with several amazing displays of light and sound in 2008. The Bisons have also added pyrotechnics shows on May 17 for Armed Forces Day (vs. Lehigh Valley, 7:05 p.m.), August 19 for Star Wars Night (vs. Lehigh Valley, 7:05 p.m.) and August 26 for Back to School Night (vs. Scranton/WB, 7:05 p.m.) as well as fireworks shows on July 3 for the Independence Eve Celebration (vs. Rochester, 6:05 p.m.), July 6 for the Independence Weekend Holiday (vs. Syracuse, 7:05 pm..), August 2 for Bisons Home Run Derby (vs. Syracuse, 7:05 p.m.) and August 27 for Fan Appreciation Night (vs. Scranton/WB, 7:05 p.m.). That means there will be 21 post game shows for the fans to enjoy this season.

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus Tradition Returns in 2008
No summer in Buffalo is complete without the annual Independence Eve Celebration with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus and the Largest Fireworks Show of the Year, presented by KeyBank. This year's event will take place on Thursday, July 3 as the Bisons host the Rochester Red Wings at 6:05 p.m. In its 14th year, the Independence Eve Celebration is closing in on a quarter of a million fans (247,525).

Offermann Stadium Replica and Bisons Slinky Highlight Giveaway Schedule
The Bisons will once again present great giveaways throughout the 2008 season, highlighted by the Offermann Stadium Replica, presented by Hamburg Overhead Door and LiftMaster, and the Authentic Bisons Slinky. Also new in 2008, the Bisons will have a four-part Buster Movie Poster Giveaway series, which will feature the Bisons mascot in the settings of famous American films.

AIG presents Magnetic Schedule Giveaway (12,000)(Opening Day, April 11 vs. Toledo, 6:05 p.m.)

Buster "Indiana Jones" Poster (2,000)(May 18 vs. Lehigh Valley, 1:05 p.m.)

Bisons Hoodie Dog, presented by Idearc Media, publisher of the Verizon Print Directories (4,000)(June 14 vs. Durham, 7:05 p.m.) ***Swan St. Gate Only***

Logo Baseball Giveaway, Play Catch on the Field, presented by S&K Menswear (4,000)(June 15 vs. Durham, 1:05 p.m.)

Peter Pan Cap Night (4,000)(July 7 vs. Syracuse, 7:05 p.m.)

Marvel Comic Triple-A Buster Bison Comic Book (3,000)(July 13 vs. Louisville, 1:05 p.m.)

Buster "Saturday Night Fever" Poster (2,000)(July 19 vs. Richmond, 7:05 p.m.)

General Mills Buffalo Plant Team Photo and Autograph Session Day (4,000)(July 20 vs. Richmond , 1:05 p.m.)

Authentic Bisons Slinky (4,000)(July 23 vs. Norfolk, 7:05 p.m.) ***Swan St. Gate Only***

Buster "Harry Potter" Poster (2,000)(August 3 vs. Syracuse, 1:05 p.m.)

NAPA Auto Parts Presents Ryan Garko Bobble Head (4,000)(August 6 vs. Indianapolis, 7:05 p.m.) ***Swan St. Gate Only***

Buster "Star Wars" Poster (2,000)(August 19 vs. Lehigh Valley, 7:05 p.m.)

Offermann Stadium Replica Giveaway, sponsored by Hamburg Overhead Door and LiftMaster (4,000)(August 20 vs. Lehigh Valley, 7:05 p.m.)   ***Swan Street Gate Only***

Back to School Day with a Bisons Lunch Cooler Bag Giveaway, presented by NYS 529 Savings Program
(4,000)(August 26 vs. Scranton/WB, 7:05 p.m.)

Old Feathered, Furry Friends Among Special Guests in 2008
Special Guests will once again entertain fans at Dunn Tire Park all season long. The Famous Chicken returns on August 16 and will bring all the fowl antics that have made him a legend in the sporting world. On June 29, you're welcome to bring your best friend to the park as the team hosts their annual Dog Day at the Ballpark. On July 29, the amazing Quick Change artists will bring their magical wardrobe-changing abilities seen on America's Got Talent to Dunn Tire Park. Then on August 2, former Major League players will appear for an in-game autograph session (players to be announced).

Home Run Derby, Comic Book, and Disco Night Complete Events Calendar
The Bisons will also feature several special events throughout the 2008 season. The annual Armed Forces Day Celebration will be held on Saturday, May 17, while School Kids Day returns Monday, June 2 at 10:35 a.m. The annual Family Camp Out will take place after the Bisons game on Friday, June 27 while a Triple-A Marvel Comic Book Day will be held on Sunday, July 13. The annual Bisons Home Run Derby will be on Saturday, August 2, but with a new format. A Bisons player will be teamed up with a former Major Leaguer in the competition. Meanwhile, every home run hit by any competitor will mean a great prize for someone in the ballpark. The Bisons will hold Fan Appreciation Night on Wednesday, August 27 (7:05 p.m.) with the second largest fireworks show of the season.

Daily Promotions Add Value to Every Game!
The Bisons will hold several daily promotions during the 2008 season, giving fans of all ages something to enjoy at Dunn Tire Park.

A Markdown Monday represents the best value at the ballpark. Tickets are just $7 for you to catch all the action of Bisons baseball. Once inside the park, fans can enjoy even greater deals with $1 popcorn, $1 ice cream cones, and merchandise discounts.

On Thursday day games, the Bisons will host Senior & Business Persons Days, as fans can enjoy some sun during the workweek and at the same time play baseball bingo. With the customary 1:05 p.m. first pitch, these games give fans a chance to take a break from their hectic schedules. You'll be able to relax and enjoy the game while receiving updates on news headlines and financial information on the Bisons Video Board.

Friday is always the best night of the week and 2007 will be no different. The Bisons will host 10 fridaynightbash!® during the 2008 season. All fridaynightbash!® will be complete with pre game parties with music and food and drink specials and post game Fireworks shows.

All Saturday games are Niagara University High School Saturdays. Students can purchase two tickets for only $12 if they show a valid high school ID at the Bisons Box Office.

Sunday Family Fun Days will feature on-field contests for kids both before and during each game. The Bisons concourse will also feature new activities for kids at the Fun Zone. After each Sunday, all kids can Run the Bases, presented by Nestle, to cap off a great afternoon at the ballpark.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.