Monday, March 26, 2007

Buffalo Bisons roll out the red carpet on Media Day

Check out the new home uniforms...those red unis with the classic red Buffalo logo look sweet!

New Bisons radio voice Ben Wagner and I got to sit down and talk baseball, sports and Buffalo stuff.

What better way to get into the baseball spirit than to to head down to Dunn Tire Park on a warm and sunny March day... the grass is green, the ballpark looks to be in great shape, and in less than 10 days it will be time to "Play Ball" for the 2007 season.

The team held its annual "Media Day" at Pettibones this afternoon, and it's always a great chance to reconnect with familiar faces, meet some new people, and see all the exciting things the team has in store for the new season.

The team had a display of some of the new merchandise, and also were modeling the new home uniforms, which look pretty snazzy. PR coordinator Brad Bisbing said they were still sticking with the sliding Bison and the green/black colors as the primary identity for the team.

I got a chance to sit down with the new Voice of the Bisons, Ben Wagner, and he is positively giddy about making his new home in Buffalo and his new job as the play by play guy. Ben and his wife just got settled in their apartment in Williamsville last week, and he got a taste of what a great sports town Buffalo is last Friday, when he was dining downtown and watching the streets explode with joy as the Sabres mounted their furious rally against the Leafs.

All the Bisons media regulars in attendance today were giving Ben the warm welcome and making him feel at home.

GM Mike Buczkowski gave me an inside peek as to the process of filling the important job of play by play announcer in a very short time frame. They only learned as late as February that Rosie was leaving the team, and had to interview and hire someone quick. We will have more on this in our kickoff "Play Ball" column next week in Artvoice.

Oh one more thing... when the Bisons sent out the alert with the invitation, Brad indicated that there would be samples of the new iced capuccino and beef brisket for us to try. So I show up and there's a whole frikkin' buffet set up...penne pasta with sausage, barbecued chicken strips, chicken finger wraps, pastrami with melted cheese, bacon cheeseburgers, a dozen different desserts. I know I left some stuff out. Man oh man they always feed us well there!

Opening Day is Thursday, April 5 at 3PM vs. Richmond. Can't come soon enough for me!


Alex said...

I think it would be awesome if B-Lo got a major league baseball team. We got such awesome fans here but I think the stadium is too small. What do u guys think?

Jon said...

I completely agree with you Alex. Buffalo does have an awesome fan base and I think a Major League team would thrive here. I just don't think MLB would ever see it that way.

When it was built, DTP was designed so that it could quickly add seating in the off-season if the team did attract an expansion franchise but with the bleachers now gone and new suites, I think that ship may have sailed. The park is 20 years old and you can bet MLB will insist on a fancy new stadium from any city it moved into something Buffalo probably can't afford right now.

Peter said...

Ain't happenin' Alex....

The region's population/financial/corporate base is just too small to have three major pro sports teams and barely enough to have two. Jon is correct, if a club did actually show up we'd have to construct a brand new park as the current one even at 20 years old, is outdated. And if the norm is upheld, said ballpark would have to be built with roughly a half BILLION dollars in public money. Something we just don't have. Fun to dream though....ain't it:).

Rob said...

Peter's right. Buffalo's struggling to hold on to the Bills, who have been there since the early 1960s. And correct me if I'm wrong here, but wasn't there a concern about the Sabres possibly leaving before HSBC Arena was built?