By Budd Bailey

During the past two summers, there has been some mystery surrounding Sahlen Field, the home of the Buffalo Bisons.

As you know, the Blue Jays came to town in 2020 because of the pandemic, and returned in 2021. The big leaguers receive better facilities than their counterparts in the minors – consider it a fringe benefit – and so the Blue Jays and Bisons worked together to come up with some improvements. Some of them, such as the lighting, quality of the field, and the moved bullpen were visible during games. However, regulations concerning Covid-19 meant that most people were not allowed on the bottom of the floor. That included me, your field timing coordinator for some Bisons’ games.

Therefore, when the Bisons announced an open house for the public to take a look at what was on the service level, I jumped at the chance. And I brought a camera. The layout has changed considerably – starting with the fact that the Bisons are located on the third-base side – and it’s difficult to remember what it used to be like. So here are some views of what the place looks like now:

 

There was space around the new bullpens in right field to put up a small garden.

 

 

 

Now we’re talking – the bullpen bathroom. Sometimes it can be a long wait for a pitching change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The medical facilities have received a good-sized upgrade.

 

 

 

Hydrotherapy, anyone?

 

 

 

 

The tour even included a visit to the umpires’ room. Boo! (Just kidding.)

 

Here’s the manager’s office. Good to know that Casey Candaele had a supply of soft drinks at the ready.

 

There is plenty of space for everyone in the locker room area.

New batting cages are located next to the parking ramp in deep right field. The old ones were in the middle of the service level. You’re never too young to work on your swing.

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has been involved in almost every aspect of the local sports scene for the last 40 years. He worked for WEBR Radio, the Buffalo Sabres' public relations department and The Buffalo News during that time. In that time he covered virtually every aspect of the area's sports world, from high schools to the Bills and Sabres and everything in between. Along the way, Budd served as a play-by-play announcer for the Bisons, an analyst for the Stallions, and a talk-show host. He won the National Lacrosse League's Tom Borrelli Award as the media personality of the year in 2011, and was a finalist for that same award in 2017. Budd's seventh and eighth books, one on the Transcontinental Railroad and the other about Ichiro Suzuki, are scheduled to be released in the fall.

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