While fans will have to wait until Opening Day to find out who will replace Celery in the nightly WCC Race, the Bisons today announced 'What's New at the Ballpark' for fans of Western New York and Southern Ontario to enjoy this summer at Coca-Cola Field.
The Bisons' 2018 Home Opener is Thursday, April 12 against the Indianapolis Indians (2:05 p.m.) (TICKETS). The club begins the season with a six-game roadtrip in Rochester and Pawtucket.
"With Opening Day at Coca-Cola Field only three weeks away, this is a great opportunity for us to share with our fans all the new elements that have been added to the Bisons Baseball Experience for 2018," said Bisons General Manager Mike Buczkowski. "Our hope is that this lineup of fun new promotions, exciting ballpark additions and delicious new food and beverage options will help all Bisons fans get ready for the return of Spring in Buffalo!"
The number one question on fans' minds following last season was what would happen to the now-retired Celery? While the beloved mascot will no longer participate in the nightly WCC Race, Celery will still be a big part of the gameday fan experience. The new Won Celery Place by Section 104 is where Bisons fans can meet and get their picture taken with Celery at every game. This new area will also be the new entertainment center for all Bisons events, including where fans pick up giveaways, participate in charity raffles/auctions and receive guest autographs. A new 25-person Celery Themed Suite on the ballpark's club level is also now available for gameday rentals, with photos celebrating Celery's victorious night and a game-day visit from Celery itself included.
On the field, the Bisons will be introducing a new Sunday Affiliation Cap (MORE INFO/PURCHASE). This new cap, featuring shades of Blue Jays' blue and a scripted 'B' from the Bisons' first uniforms at Coca-Cola Field, will accompany the popular Affiliation Throwback jerseys introduced last year for all Sunday home games.
Weekends at the ballpark also have an exciting new promotion. Starting on June 16, Saturday games will now be known as Labatt-urdays! Along with a new standardized 6:05 p.m. start time, Labatturdays will include a special Tent Party (4-7 p.m.) with 16 oz. Labatt Blue and Blue Light for only $3, and a chance for fans 21 years old and older will to WIN Labatt Beer for a Year if a Bisons player hits a home run off a new giant inflatable Labatt can in the right field berm area.
Other new additions to the Bisons' jam-packed promotional schedule include LEGO® Weekend (August 24-26), a visit from the PAW Patrol (July 8) and a Fergie Jenkins Autograph Day & Bobblehead Giveaway (August 9).
CLICK HERE for a full promotional schedule and for single game tickets.
The key component to the Bisons Baseball experience has always been the great tasting food and beverage. A leader in the local craft beer scene, the Bisons have added another great option with a Founder's Brewing Beverage Stand at section 105, featuring popular selections such as the All Day IPA and the Kentucky Breakfast Stout.
A Western New York Staple, the Original Pizza Log will be debuting a new Apple-Filled Dessert Log on Opening Day, served with a warm dipping sauce. Other new concession items for fans to enjoy include Hand-held Mac & Cheese Cones, Bacon-Wrapped Pork Skewers served with BBQ sauce, and a Black Bean Burger for fans in search of a new vegetarian option. Each time the Bisons return back to Coca-Cola Field, the ballpark will introduce a new Homestand Hot Dog for fans to try, with variations include the Buffalo Dog, BBQ Bacon Dog and the Can-Am Dog (served with poutine on top).
Fans will have an easier time finding their favorite selections as the team has installed all new Digital Menu Boards from Southtowns Audio Video.
Inside the Consumer's Pub at the Park, fans can enjoy the new Buster's Burger as two half-pound smash burgers are topped with jalapenos, onions, bleu cheese crumbles and balsamic reduction on a Costanzo's roll. Another option for fans with a big appetite will be the Giant Buffalo Pierogi, a half-pound stuffed pierogi filled with sliced Sahlen's hot dogs and sauerkraut and topped with sautéed onions and Weber's Mustard. Other new options include Waffle-Battered Chicken Sliders topped with maple butter, Shrimp Po' Boys with spicy remoulade sauce, Turkey Pot Roast Sandwiches topped with Bisons French onion dip and Cheddar Beer Dip.
New Extra-Innings/Pace of Play Rules
Early this month, minor league baseball announced new rule and procedure changes aimed at reducing the length of games that will be in place for all International League games in 2018. Teams will now start all extra innings with a runner on second base for all regular season contests. This includes the eighth and ninth innings of doubleheader games. Clubs will now be limited to six mound visits that don't result in a pitching change per nine innings (including visits from other position players). Finally, the pitch clock will be reduced to 15 seconds between pitchers when there are no runners on base.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.