When it comes to baseball, Sahlen field is your go-to destination to experience the world-class game in the west of New York. The field is the current home for the Buffalo Bisons, a team playing in the International League. Although the intention to build it was to allure Major League baseball in the west, it couldn’t happen until Covid hit and Toronto Blue Jays had to come here and play. The Buffalo Bisons are the AAA affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.
The field has a rich history in baseball and many other sports as well. The most extensive field in the US out of all 30 holds Triple-A games. This post will briefly go through the history, the legacy made in this field, and much more.
History of Sahlen Field
The name of the field itself has changed about six times in history. When it was constructed, it was known as the Pilot field; then, the names changed throughout its existence from 1988. The name “Sahlen” was given to the field in 2019 when Sahlen Packing Company acquired the naming rights. Before that, the place was known as the Coca-cola field (2008-2018). The naming contract of ten years ended between the field and the coca-cola company in 2018, and Sahlen acquired the ten-year contract.
The field was made to hold Major League Baseball games; however, since 1915, no Major League team had set their foot on the field to play until the Toronto Blue Jays, who had nowhere else to play in the pandemic, had to come here to play.
Although no major league ever played there before 2020, that does not mean the field has not seen enough action. The first retro-classic baseball park was home to other minor league teams such as Rail Riders, the AAA affiliate of the New York Yankees. Other than that, the 16000 capacity of the field has held many intercollege baseball games, professional ladies’ games, and tournaments between AAA affiliate teams.
Fun Fact: The home ground for the Buffalo Bisons has tributes in the parking lot for each home run made by the league player in that stadium.
Let’s move on to the key features of the Sahlen field, which make it one of the best fields across the US.
Key Features of Sahlen Field
Here are five key features of Sahlen Field. Let’s discuss all these in detail.
Sahlen Field is located in Buffalo, New York, in the middle of the city’s hub. The JFK recreation center, Greyhound bus station, and Lafayette Square are within walking distance range. Furthermore, I-190 is also right across the stadium. This makes it easily accessible for baseball fans to enjoy games on the weekend, whether they are city residents or not. The stadium is just a short train ride away from New York City too.
The Layout And Architecture
HOK sports, a famous architecture company of all time, was tasked with constructing a doom-shaped stadium. However, due to lower budget approval, an open-air stadium was designed with a retro-classic theme. The original capacity of the stadium was 19,500, which made it the third biggest field in minor league baseball. It had much capacity in which a double-decker stadium could be built, and the seating arrangement would increase to host Major league baseball. However, with each renovation in history, the capacity decreased. Right now, there are 16000 seats on the field. The field has Kentucky BlueGrass all across the area.
The field itself is eminently symmetrical, measuring 325 feet to each corner and 404 feet to center field in a straight line. Bullpens are situated down the lines, while the Bisons’ dugout is on the first base side.
Rules of The Ground
Here are some ground rules in the Sahlen Field:
- A run-scored double occurs when a fair ball catches in the padding of the outfield fence.
- A bounding fair hit that hits the padding on the outfield fence and bounces over it is automatically counted as a double.
- A fair ball contacting the metal support pipe or foul pole caps further than the outfield fence:
- If struck as a fly ball, it is a home run.
- Is struck as a bounding ball, and is out of bounds.
- The game is being played with a bounding fair ball striking an unpadded concrete wall immediately to the left and right of every foul pole.
- It’s time to play after a fair ball hits the outfield fence’s bottom.
Food In The Area
At Sahlen Field, fans may choose from a wide variety of concessions. Naturally, Sahlen’s produces both usual and gourmet hot dogs. Other foods like popcorn, tacos, hamburgers, nachos, and pizza are often available. Local favourites include eateries like Authentic Pizza Logs, Perry’s Ice Cream Stand, Charlie The Butcher, and fried Bologna.
Sahlen Field has a vibrant craft beer scene. A wide variety of regional beers are available in Buffalocal concessions and the Craft Beer Corner. In Western New York, Labatt’s Blue is readily available at numerous stands and well-liked. Sahlen Field serves soft drinks made by Coca-Cola.
Why Visit Sahlen Field?
Apart from the game, there is so much that the Sahlen field offers, which makes it worth the visit. The Bisons excel in this area, as theme nights are common throughout the season. Unlike every other Star Wars Night from a different sports production, the yearly Star Wars Night is indeed a bestseller and significantly better here.
The Independence Eve game is among the best and frequently sells out. It includes the biggest fireworks show and a post-game performance through the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. In the season, there are other additional theme nights as well.