Sahlen Field Prepping For Its National TV Debut
Buffalo's Sahlen Field is getting ready for its national "close-up"...
When the Toronto Blue Jays and Miami Marlins square off on August 11th, the lights will shine on Sahlen Field like they never have before. WIVB-TV reports that new bulbs are being installed in the fixtures high above the field. But the stadium is also about to receive national notoriety.
“They’re kind of using Buffalo and Sahlen Field as a television studio,” said Jeff Ventura, associate athletic director at Buffalo State.
You’ll be able to tell it’s not a typical big league ballpark. But it should show well on television.”
The Blue Jays are playing 25 home games at Sahlen Field this year after they were unable to receive permission from the government to play in Toronto.
One of the 25 games, the August 14th matchup between Toronto and the Tampa Bay Rays, is scheduled to be shown across the country on national television. The game will be broadcast on FS1.
As much as it is an opportunity for Buffalo and Sahlen Field, Ventura points out this unusual circumstance is also an opportunity for the Blue Jays. They have a chance to pick up some extra fans, he says.
“I think there could be a lost opportunity for the Blue Jays if they didn’t try to co-brand the team with Buffalo this year,” he said. “Toronto is in such a unique market compared to the smaller markets. They don’t need us because of corporate dollars. But they have a lot of empty seats in their stadium as well.”
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, who is a Dodgers fan, dressed up in a Blue Jays jersey and cap the day the team announced they were coming to Buffalo last month.
“It’s not like we’re going to be able to go down there and watch the games. But there’s some pride,” Poloncarz said.
Last week, the Jays announced they were giving fans the opportunity to purchase cutouts of themselves to be placed in the Sahlen Field seats during games, (great shades of "The Natural"). A team official says they gave Buffalo Bisons season ticket holders a pre-sale option.
The Bisons are the AAA farm team of the Blue Jays.