Stadium Review: Coca-Cola Field of the Buffalo Bisons

bisons-fieldThe Buffalo Bisonsstadium may not be new, but it does have a new name. After toting around the name of Dunn Tire Park for some time, this off season, those with the team accepted a deal from soda giant Coca-Cola to rename the ballpark Coca-Cola Field.

The Bisons have also switched which team they are representing in 2009. This year will be their first year with the New York Mets after being the main stay AAA club for the Cleveland Indians for many years.

Coca-Cola Field is located near the heart of downtown Buffalo and was finished before the team’s 1988 season. While the stadium shows its age, especially compared with those built in the 1990s and later, the city has done a great job keeping up the maintenance on the stadium, something many cities neglect after pouring millions of dollars into the building process.

bisons-scoreboard2One of the newest parts of the stadium is the scoreboard which measures 40 ft. by 20 ft. which makes it one of the largest in all of the minor leagues.

A downturn of the stadium is that fans cannot see the game from the concourse which means that they have to schedule their breaks accordingly so as to not miss much of the action.

Due to the age of the stadium and the budget of the city, there have not been any major makeovers to the stadium. This shows in areas such as the team shop. If the two team shops could be put in one location, the Bisons could be considered to have a very respectable shop. Instead, they have two different shops, one known as the New Era shop after the hat company which is on the concourse headed towards right field. The other shop is closer to home plate, but still on the concourse. The most impressive part of their merchandise is that they have a good number of clothes options for women that they would actually be willing to wear.

bisons-concourseThere is also a kid’s area on the concourse which features some merchandise and also has a few activities to occupy kids who may not be able to sit still through an entire baseball game.

The Bisons have both a male and female mascot that do a good job of being present for the entertainment of fans throughout the contests.

Another staple of the stadium is that the concession workers who walk the aisles wear cone heads and Bisons jerseys to make them stand out. One beer man has been there since the stadium opened and in a small setting such as this is recognized by many of the loyal fans.

While the seats aren’t the new plastic ones that most are accustomed to seeing with the new ballparks, they are still comfortable and are spaced enough apart from each other where one does not feel crowded in the stadium that seats around 18,000.

There are no bleachers or any seating of any kind beyond the outfield meaning that any souvenirs one takes home are probably going to be foul balls.

Even though the stadium was built just over 20 years ago, one really does feel that they are in a piece of baseball history when they are attending a game there. The stadium just seems so rustic and the fans of Buffalo are traditionally so loyal to all of their sports teams that a great sports atmosphere is created.

The major problem with attending a game there really isn’t with the stadium, it’s with the lack of attractions around it. Even though Coca-Cola Field is in the center of downtown, there really aren’t many restaurants open. When this reviewer traveled to Buffalo, he found just one restaurant, a brewery, that was open past 5:30 pm in walking distance of the stadium.

Minor League Stadium Grade: 4/5

Overall Stadium Grade: 3.75/5

Bill Jordan is a contributor to BaseballReflections.com. He can be reached by e-mail at BillJordaniv@yahoo.com.

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2 Comments

  1. BillJordan

    March 10, 2009 at 9:04 am

    If anyone has taken a trip to Coca-Cola Field, please share your thoughts on the experience here.

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