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It’s “Play Ball” as Buffalo Bisons set to roll out new season

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Enjoying that blue sky out there? Those wonderful temps?

That must mean that baseball is just upon us, and this past week the Buffalo Bisons previewed all the new and exciting things that fans can expect to see when the 124th season of professional baseball opens at Coca Cola Field next week.

Coca Cola Field? Yes that is the name of our downtown ballpark, as a new ten year naming rights agreement was inked this past offseason. According to Bisons Public Relations Director Brad Bisbing, passersby can expect to see the new corporate logo and signage being installed on the ballpark fascia, the entrances and the front and back of the center field scoreboard. “It will definitely be up well in time for Opening day,” Bisbing promised.

The Buffalo Bisons have a new parent affiliate – the New York Mets, and over the winter the team unveiled their snazzy new logo, done to the hues of Mets blue and orange, and gone is the sliding Buster and the green and black emblems that were the staple of the Cleveland Indians era.

At the media kickoff this past Tuesday, a broad array of new merchandise was on display, and the shelves at the team store at Coca Cola Field are well stocked for what surely will be a big demand for all the new stuff.

An always awesome food and concessions lineup at the ballpark will be made even better this year as Famous Dave’s BBQ, a casual dining eatery located in Cheektowaga, will open their BBQ stand along the third base side, offering delectable items such as pulled chicken and pulled pork sandwiches along with ribs and chili. A classic B-NY Deli behind home plate will offer Buffalo and New York City favorites. Following the lead of just about every community hockey rink in the OHL, Tim Horton’s will now be serving its coffee throughout the ballpark. And the Bisons are bringing back their “All You Can Eat” promotion for 12 dates this year. For $85, fans can choose from four games on the list, and at those games enjoy unlimited trips to specially designated stands and get a menu item, side and dessert.

On the field, Ken Oberkfell will be the new Bisons Manager, replacing Torey Lovullo, who stayed with the Cleveland organization and will manage the Columbus Clippers. Speaking of Columbus, they are opening a new ballpark, Huntington Park, and the former Richmond Braves have moved to Gwinnett County, Georgia, where the Gwinnett Braves will also open up a new field. This makes Coca Cola Field the second oldest ballpark in the International League, trailing only Pawtucket. Fans will also be treated to National League rules when the Bisons play a National League affiliated opponent, those being against Lehigh Valley (Phillies), Syracuse (Nationals), Louisville (Reds), Gwinnett (Braves) and Indianapolis (Pirates). So get ready to watch the pitcher take his turn at bat!

In addition to all home and away games on the Bisons flagship radio station KB 1520, 37 games will air on TV on Time Warner Cable Channel 13, with an additional 5 games on SNY Sportsnet New York.

The fun all starts next Thursday, April 9 with a 3:05PM start against the Pawtucket Red Sox.

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Photo credit: Ryan Nagelhout, WNY Media