The Buffalo Bisons, Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets, are pleased to announce today the renaming of their downtown home ballpark to Coca-Cola Field. A 10-year naming rights agreement between the Buffalo Bisons and Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Buffalo will take affect on January 1, 2009.
The team's first game in Coca-Cola Field will be Thursday, April 9, 2009 against the Pawtucket Red Sox (3:05 p.m.).
"We are thrilled to expand an already solid partnership and close friendship with Coca-Cola," said Bob Rich Jr., President and owner of the Buffalo Bisons. "Coca-Cola is one of the most internationally-recognized brands in the world with a locally-owned bottling plant here in Western New York.
"The Coca-Cola name is synonymous with the ideals we hold dear at the Bisons: quality, value, family and excellence."
"Coca-Cola Buffalo is very excited about our partnership with the Bisons," said Pete Benzino, Vice President/General Manager of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Buffalo. "The Rich family has provided a tradition of family entertainment here in Western New York. Coca-Cola Buffalo, family-owned, locally-operated, is proud to be a part of that tradition, quenching the thirst of Western New Yorkers for over 100 years."
The Buffalo Bisons and Coca-Cola are two family-owned companies with strong ties to the Western New York community. Coca-Cola was the first soft drink served in this ballpark when it opened on April 14, 1988. Since 2004, the company has been the exclusive soft drink provider of the Buffalo Bisons. In each season since 2005, specially marked Bisons Coca-Cola Classic cans have been produced, each redeemable for a free April home game that year.
Coca-Cola Field is the fourth name of the Bisons home ballpark, located at One James D. Griffin Plaza in the heart of Downtown Buffalo. The park opened in 1988 as Pilot Field before being renamed North AmeriCare Park during the 1995 season. In May of 1999, the ballpark was renamed Dunn Tire Park for the next 10 seasons.
Coca-Cola Field has been the home of 1,502 regular season Buffalo Bisons games. The Bisons have hit 1,271 home runs at home, which would be the same distance as over 1.2 million Coca-Cola cans placed on their side, one after another. The Bisons are 889-613 at home, good for a .592 winning percentage. Since Coca-Cola Field opened in 1988, the Bisons have finished with a winning home record in 16 of 21 seasons.
In 21 seasons, 17,472,359 fans have entered the gates at Coca-Cola Field. The ballpark is home to the top six (and eight of the top nine) attendance marks in the history of minor league baseball. The mark of 1,240,951 set during the 1991 season remains the record for minor league baseball.-herd-