The Buffalo Bisons, Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets, today announced their promotional and events calendar for the 2012 season -the 25th season of baseball at Coca-Cola Field. The team's year-long celebration will begin on Opening Day, Wednesday, April 11th (2:05 p.m.) against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees and continue the Bisons' quarter-century tradition as the top sports and family entertainment experience and value in town.
Coca-Cola Field saw its first game on April 14, 1988 as the Bisons defeated the Denver Zephyrs, 1-0. The 2012 season marks the 25th year of the ballpark as a ground-breaking facility.
"We have created a promotional event schedule that will not only sufficiently capture all the great moments and memories of Coca-Cola Field since 1988, but also celebrate the great future of the Bisons and this ballpark," said Mike Buczkowski, Bisons Vice President/General Manager. "We have combined many of the great events our fans have grown to love with several special '25th Season' nights and giveaways to create an unforgettable season at the ballpark."
Earlier this off-season, the Bisons introduced a new "25 seasons" logo (attached) and the tagline "Simply the Best" to represent the ballpark's history since 1988. For years, Tina Turner's hit "Simply the Best" has been played after every Bisons victory at home.
The 25th Season at Coca-Cola Field
The Bisons will start their season-long tribute on Opening Day, Wednesday, April 11th against the Yankees with a magnetic schedule giveaway. On April 14th, the anniversary of the first ever game played at Coca-Cola Field, the Bisons will begin a five-part Commemorative Coin Series by giving away the first five-coin pack. Each coin will depict one of the top 25 images that have helped shape Bisons baseball since 1988 (images are to be announced). Additional 25th Season Saturdays include May 19, June 16, July 21 and August 14.
Thursday, June 28, is the first of two Youth Jersey Giveaways. The red, white and blue jersey from the 1988 season will be handed out, presented by AXA Advisors, while the Bisons team wears the same uniform in the field. The special 25th season logo will adorn this year's Cap Giveaway, presented by Canisius College, on June 30th. On August 23rd, the Bisons will welcome back The Earl of Bud for a special appearance for his Bobble Head Giveaway that night, presented by NAPA Auto Parts. The final fridaynightbash!® of the season on August 24 will be look-back on the 25 seasons of the Bisons popular promotion. The season-long tribute will culminate on Saturday, August 25 for a special 25th Season Celebration with guest appearances, fan prizes, a post game fireworks display and many special surprises.
Fans Can Join in on 25th Season Celebration
There will also be several opportunities for fans to get involved with the 25th season celebration. Bisons.com will feature an online ballot for the "All 25-Seasons Team," a collection of the greatest players to appear for Buffalo at Coca-Cola Field. Voting will begin on Opening Day and fans will enjoy building their own team from a list that includes among others: Torey Lovullo, Dorn Taylor, Brandon Phillips, Brian Giles, Bill Selby and Dillon Gee. The final "All 25-Seasons Team" will be announced in August with fan-voting counting for 50% of the ballot.
Fans will also be encouraged to submit their favorite photos from the past 25 years to firstname.lastname@example.org . The top photos will be selected for use on the BisonsTV HD scoreboard as well as the Bisons' social media accounts and official team website.
Every Bisons home game during the 2012 season will also feature tributes on the BisonsTV HD scoreboard honoring the 25 seasons of baseball at Coca-Cola Field.
fridaynightbash!® Games Now Include "Bisons Happy Hour"
The best night of the week has a new twist for 2012. The award-winning fridaynightbash!® series, presented by Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel, will now include Bisons Happy Hour. Gates to all Friday night games will open at 5:00 p.m. so fans can enjoy food and drink specials. There will be new lineup of live entertainment in the concourse and on the field while fans can also watch features on the BisonsTV HD scoreboard. Opening the gates early also gives fans the opportunity to watch live batting practice.
Themed fridaynightbash!® games will include: Game Show Night (June 15), Summerbash! (June 29), Turn the Park Pink Night to benefit the Vera Bradley Breast Cancer Foundation (July 20), Night of the Living Dead featuring the Buffalo's Zombie Walk (August 3), Disco Night (August 10) and Pirate Festival Night (August 17). A spectacular Fireworks Show will conclude all 11 fridaynightbash!® games.
TWO NEW DAYS!!! TWOsdays and Kids Club Sundays
The Bisons have added two new weekly promotions for 2012. In April and May, the third day of the week will now be known as TWOsday. Fans can purchase two tickets for the price of one on Tuesday April 17th and May 1st, 15th, 22nd and 29th. There will also be $2 concession items throughout the park.
Sunday afternoon games are now Bisons Kids Club Sundays. Kids who are members of the Buster's Kids Club will receive special privileges, including the ability to participate in on-field games and contests as well as the chance to 'cut the line' for the post game Kids Run the Bases, presented by Tim Hortons. Kids Club memberships are available at Bisons.com or at Coca-Cola Field for only $10 and include two undated flex tickets for the 2012 season, a customized t-shirt, a meet n' greet with a Bisons player and many more discounts throughout the season.
Tuesdays evenings from June on will continue to host the popular Ethnic Festival Nights with post game Pyrotechnics Display, presented by Unyts. The schedule includes Hispanic Heritage (June 12), Irish Night (June 26), Italian Night (July 17), Polish Night (August 14) and German Night (Wednesday, August 22).
The Bisons will also continue their Markdown Monday Series in 2012. All Monday games this season will feature a $7 ticket and $1 ice cream and popcorn. Fans will also have the chance to earn Free Food Coupons based on Bisons team achievements on the field. Those coupons will be good for one of two Redemption Days: Monday, July 16 and Monday, August 27
The Key Independence Eve Celebration with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus
The great summer tradition returns for the 18th time in 2012. The Bisons Key Independence Eve Celebration with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus and the Largest Fireworks Show of the Year is set for Tuesday, July 3rd against the Durham Bulls. Over 300,000 fans have taken in this great Western New York summer tradition since 1995.
Stars Wars Night, Father's Day, School Kids Day Among Special Event Days
The fastest-growing Bisons promotion, the 5th Annual Star Wars Night with character appearances and post game fireworks will be Saturday, June 9. The Bisons players will once again be wearing customized uniforms that will be auctioned off for the American Heart Association. The Bisons host the Pawtucket Red Sox on Father's Day, Sunday, June 17. Along with a Logo Baseball Giveaway, presented by Mission Foods, fans will be allowed on the field for post game Play Catch with Dad. Other event days include:
WNY Family Fun Day - Sunday, May 20
Dog Day at the Ballpark - Saturday, May 26
Memorial Day Pre-Game BBQ - Monday, May 28
First Responders Night, presented by FM Communications and Kenwood Inc. - Thurs., June 14
Post Game Family Camp Out - June 29
World Record Dance Day - July 22
Mystery Ball Night - August 11
Bisons HR Derby, presented by 2findyourhome.com - Sunday, August 12
For the younger fans, Kids Week, presented by Anderson's Ice Cream is set for April 12-15. For four days, two kids will be admitted for FREE with the purchase of an adult ticket. Anti-bullying is the theme for this year's School Kids Day with 10:35 a.m. start on Thursday, May 31. Youth Baseball Day will be Sunday, June 10 and School's Out For Summer Matinee is set for 1:05 p.m. on Wednesday, June 27. Belle's Princess Tea Party is Sunday, August 5th and the Bisons' annual Back to School Game, presented by New York's 529 College Savings Program is Sunday, August 26.
Every Bisons season concludes with the fan-favorite Fan Appreciation Night with special giveaways every half inning and spectacular post game fireworks show.
City Hall Replica, Earl of Bud Bobble Head, Youth Jerseys Replica Highlight Giveaway Schedule
From replicas to noisemakers, youth jerseys and more, the Bisons 2012 giveaway schedule has something for fans of all ages.
Bisons Magnetic 2012 Schedules (10,000) (April 11)
25th Season Commemorative Coin Pack #1 (2,000)(April 14)
25th Season Commemorative Coin Pack #2 (2,000)(May 19)
25th Season Commemorative Coin Pack #3 (2,000)(June 16)
Father's Day Logo Baseballs, presented by Mission Foods (3,000)(June 17)
Bisons Red, White, Blue Youth Jerseys, presented by AXA Advisors(3,000)(June 28)
25th Season Logo Caps, presented by Canisius College (3,000)(June 30)
City Hall Replicas (4,000)(July 18)
25th Season Commemorative Coin Pack #4 (2,000)(July 21)
Bisons Alternate Blue Youth Jerseys, presented by Subway (3,000)(August 2)
25th Season Commemorative Coin Pack #5 (2,000)(August 4)
Earl of Bud Bobble Heads, presented by NAPA Auto Parts (4,000)(August 23)
Kids Pencil Pouches, presented by New York's 529 College Savings Program (3,000)(August 26)