The sights and sounds of Buffalo Bisons baseball will fill Coca-Cola Field in just 10 days with Opening Day set for Thursday, April 3 against the Rochester Red Wings (2:05 p.m.). And with the announcement of 'What's New' at the ballpark this season, the Bisons Fan Experience will reach fantastic new levels of entertainment and value in 2014.
Since Coca-Cola Field opened in 1988, the Bisons have provided the absolute best sports and family entertainment experience and value at every event. The additions made to the ballpark for this season were aimed at continuing this great tradition for the fans of Western New York and Southern Ontario.
In 2014, Coca-Cola Field will feature a new 120-Speaker Distributed Sound System that will provide crisp and even music and announcements to all Bisons fans no matter where they are in the ballpark. Two new state-of-the-art 50-Foot Full-Video LED Message Boards will immerse fans with up-to-the-second game and promotional information. The creation of a new Champions Suite will give fans another unique area to enjoy while viewing a Bisons game and an Expanded Ballpark Menu, including the addition of Hamburg Brewery Craft Beers, will feature new delights in both Pettibones Grille Restaurant and various concession stands.
The 2014 season will also be the Bisons 100th season competing in the International League. Among the features planned to celebrate this anniversary is the IL Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony of Bisons modern era home run king, Jeff Manto. Bisons baseball broadcasts in 2014 will now air on the newly-formatted ESPN 1520 as well as select games on Sportsnet 590 The FAN in Toronto.
Hear the Difference with new Distributed Sound System
The sounds of Coca-Cola Field will now be as clear as the crack of the bat and the pop of a glove on the field. The CannonDesign distributed sound system, funded by the City of Buffalo, features a total of 120 Community Speakers located throughout the seating bowl at Coca-Cola Field to provide uniform and intelligible music and announcements. The previous system, which has been exposed to the elements for 26 years, had speakers located inside the centerfield scoreboard and all sounds were greatly affected by the weather before reaching the fans. This new system has just three speakers in the scoreboard and 117 throughout the rest of the stadium, enhancing the game-day experience of fans in any area of Coca-Cola Field.
LED Club-Level Message Boards provide real-time updates
The perfect compliments to the BisonsTV HD scoreboard, the two LED Message Board Displays will immerse fans with real-time game statistics, up-to-the-second out of town scores and key club promotional material throughout games at Coca-Cola Field. Manufactured by Daktronics using 20mm pixel pitch LED Technology, each display will be approximately 50 ft. long by 2.5 ft. high and will be fixed on the club level façade. In addition, each message board will include a digital clock and will have the game's score available at all times.
Salute the Champions with new Themed Suite
There's never a bad time to add a champion to your lineup. The Bisons line of fan-favorite game-day 'Themed Suites' will now include a Champions Suite. Located on the third base side near section 213, the newly-renovated Champions Suite will honor the past Buffalo Bisons title-winning squads through amazing photos and artifacts. Available for groups between 20-25, the suite includes seating inside and outside as well as a $100 food credit. Fans can reserve the suite on nightly basis by calling 716-843-4373 to check on availability.
Radio Home for the Bisons
The radio home of the Bisons is at the same spot on the radio dial, but with a whole new format. The all-new ESPN 1520 will be the flagship station for exciting Bisons baseball, with the broadcast of all 144 games during the season as well as the Triple-A All-Star Game. This off-season, the Bisons and Entercom Broadcasting of Buffalo signed a three-year agreement that runs through the 2016 season. "The Voice of the Bisons" Ben Wagner and Buffalo Baseball Hall of Famer Duke McGuire will continue to anchor all Bisons broadcasts, starting with a pre-game show 30 minutes before each contest.
The Bisons also announced that the broadcast of six games will be carried live on Sportsnet 590 The FAN in Toronto, the radio home for Toronto Blue Jays baseball. That schedule will begin on July 1.
Expanded Menu of delights throughout the ballpark
Nothing goes better with Bisons baseball than the great foods of the ballpark. With the staples like Sahlen's Hot Dogs, Wardynski's Sausages and ice-cold Coca-Cola soft drinks already in place, the Bisons have expanded all their ballpark menus to also include some unique treats. In the concession stands, fans will now be able to try Mini Tacos served with a side of salsa, Loaded Baked Potato Bites or Mac n' Cheese. And after a successful debut in 2013, the Bisons Wine Cart has been expanded and now servings of Wine will be vended to fans right in their seats.
Up in Pettibones Grille, the dinner menu will now include Braised Short Ribs with mashed potatoes and Sesame Chicken Skewers served over salad. Traditional Slider Burgers will now have the option to be served on Pretzel Rolls. Po' Boy Fish Sandwiches will make their debut in 2014 and a Hall of Fame twist on a traditional sandwich has created the Turkey Sandwich on Cinnamon Bread with Caramelized Apple and Maple Glaze.
For fans taking in a Bisons game in any one of Coca-Cola Field's club level suites, Crab Cakes and MU Dessert Cordials will now be available for purchase.
Craft Beers Featured at Bisons fridaynightbash!® Happy Hour
The craft beer revolution has taken hold of beer drinkers throughout the country and for the third straight year, Bisons fans can taste many of the unique local flavors at the ballpark during the fridaynightbash!® Happy Hour series. This year, the selection of beers has been expanded to include many great flavors from the Hamburg Brewing Company.
Starting Friday, May 2, the Coca-Cola Field gates will open at 5:00 p.m. so you can enjoy 14oz. craft beers for only $3 from 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. The lineup of craft beers will include Buffalo Lager, Aviator Red, 716 Kolsch, Rusty Chain Vienna Lager from Flying Bison, Small Town Saison and an Oatmeal Stout from Hamburg Brewing Company, Vanilla Porter and RBI Red from Rohrbach, Flower Power IPA from Ithaca Brewing Co. and Burning River Pale Ale from Great Lakes, just to name a few.
The Happy Hour will also include great food specials and entertainment in the Coca-Cola Field concourse. Fans will also be able to watch the teams' batting practice on the field.
Bisons Celebrate 100th Season in the International League
The International League is the second oldest league in professional sports and the 2014 season will be the Bisons 100th year competing in the league. Fans will want to stop by the team's Hall of Fame Heritage Room located by section 107 of the main concourse for great artifacts and mementos, provided by the Buffalo Sports Museum. One of the great Bisons players of any area, Jeff Manto will be formally inducted into the International League Hall of Fame before the team's game on August 13. Various other features on Bisons.com and the BisonsTV HD Scoreboard will pay tribute to the team's 100 seasons in the league.
Look Great in your new Bisons Gear
The Bisons new logo and red, white and blue color schemes were huge successes in 2013. This year, fans can expect an expanded catalog of team apparel to choose from. Several 'quarter-zips' have been added for men and women and a unique line of t-shirts and caps will be loved by both boys and girls. A complete line of New Era Bisons caps now includes the Down-Flap Cap for those colder days and.
The entire selection of Bisons apparel and merchandise can be found in both the Batter's Box Gift Shop and the Bisons Team Shop at Coca-Cola Field as well as online at Bisons.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.