Buffalo Bisons Celebrate 25 Years At The Downtown Ball Park!

April 11, 2012 Updated Apr 11, 2012 at 9:08 AM EDT

By WKBW News

April 11, 2012 Updated Apr 11, 2012 at 9:08 AM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. ( WKBW / Bisons.com ) Brad Bisbing of the Buffalo Bisons got up extra early Wednesday to tell Patrick Taney and Ginger Geoffery about all the excitement of opening day at the downtown ballpark.

Bisons to Thank All Fans at Opening Day

With Offer to Attend a Second Game
Fans Who Attend Chilly Home Opener Wednesday
May Use Ticket for Another Game During Homestand

April 11, 2012 – With chilly temperatures expected for today’s Home Opener against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the Bisons will reward all fans who attend this afternoon’s 2:05 p.m. game against the Yankees with the chance to attend a second game during the team’s nine-game homestand.

Wednesday’s forecast calls for less than ideal conditions for baseball. But, the Bisons and their fans are still very excited to start the 25th season at Coca-Cola Field. So, any fan that bundles up and heads out to the ballpark for today’s Home Opener will be able to attend another game this homestand absolutely FREE. The forecast looks much better as the weekend arrives, with temperatures returning to the 60-degree mark.

To take advantage of this offer, all fans need to do is exchange their Used Opening Day Tickets at the Coca-Cola Field Box Office to receive a free ticket to any other game during the opening homestand.

The Bisons first homestand of the season runs until Thursday, April 19 with the Yankees, Pawtucket Red Sox and Lehigh Valley IronPigs all visiting town. The team will have 1:05 p.m. start times from April 12-15 in Anderson’s Kids Week. The children are off from school, so bring them to Coca-Cola Field and celebrate the return of baseball.

Fans with questions regarding this offer should contact the Bisons Box Office at (716) 843-4373.

One of the great Buffalo experiences, Opening Day in Buffalo is on Wednesday, April 11 as the Herd hosts the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees at Coca-Cola Field (2:05 p.m.). The Bisons front office had a busy off-season gearing up for the 25th season at Coca-Cola Field. Plans for a year-long celebration will be revealed on Opening Day.

· Gates at 1 p.m. for 2:05 p.m. start
· Magnetic Schedule Giveaway

As you get ready for Game #1 in downtown Buffalo this season, here's what you need to know before you head out to the ballpark.

TICKETS: Get your tickets to Opening Day HERE. Even better, you can buy your tickets online and avoid the lines at the Coca-Cola Field Box Office by printing them out at home. You can also call THE-HERD at (716) 843-4373 or visit the Box Office, Monday-Friday (9am-5pm).

BEFORE THE FIRST PITCH: Gates to Coca-Cola Field will open at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, but you can stop by the Bisons Box Office as early as 9:00 a.m. If you have tickets waiting for you, it might be a good idea to stop down early to avoid lines at the Will Call window.

Pre-Game ceremonies will start at about 1:30 p.m. As is tradition, each member of the 2012 Bisons team will be introduced to the line, including new manager Wally Backman. To begin the yearlong celebration of 25 years at Coca-Cola Field, a Bisons' fan born in each year the ballpark has existed will throw a ceremonial first pitch. The scouts will definitely keep an eye on the youngster on the mound to represent 2012!

These fans were chosen via a special announcement on the Bisons' twitter (@BuffaloBisons) and facebook (facebook.com/GoBisons) accounts. Make sure you follow the Bisons for even more special announcements as the seaons moves along.

REFRIGERATOR GOOD: The Bisons will hand out 2012 Magnetic Schedules to the first 10,000 fans in attendance on Wednesday, sponsored by The Buffalo News. Put the keepsake on your icebox so you don't miss a pitch at Coca-Cola Field this summer.

BACKMAN IN BUFFALO: On Wednesday, Bisons fans will get their long-awaited first glimpse of new Bisons skipper Wally Backman. The former Mets infielder and member of the 1986 World Series Champion team was promoted from Double-A Binghamton in the off-season. Fans might expect to see him wearing the #6 he wore as a player, but that number is retired for Buffalo Baseball Hall of Famer, Ollie Carnegie. Instead, Backman will wear #8 in honor of his friend and former teammate, the late Gary Carter.

DON'T FLINCH: The Bisons have made a new addition to Coca-Cola Field, but you might not notice it. The club installed a new Homeplate Netting System that is constructed from ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene fiber. We're not sure what all that means, but we do know that this new net is 15 times stronger than the old model. And at only 62 pounds -as opposed to the old 450 pound net- it should be far-less obstructive to fans sitting behind home plate.

WE'RE ALL FAMILIA: If the rotation holds and the Bisons don't have any postponements in Rochester, 22-year old Jeurys Familia will get the Opening Day start for the Herd. He allowed one run in a no-decision on Friday night in Pawtucket. Rated the Mets' #4 prospect by Baseball America, Familia racked up 132 strikeouts between Single-A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton last season.

HEY, I KNOW YOU: Fans will recognize many of the players that make up Buffalo's 25-man roster. 2011 Most Valuable Player Valentino Pascucci is back and homered in the club's first game of the season in Pawtucket. Last year's Most Valuable Pitcher Chris Schwinden has also returned. Josh Satin, Zach Lutz, Raul Reyes, Michael Fisher, Justin Hampson, Dylan Owen and Jack Egbert all spent time in Buffalo in 2011. Fernando Cabrera was with the Herd from 2004-2006 and has returned as a free agent. Jeff Stevens pitched for the 2008 Bisons before spending the last three years in the Chicago Cubs organization.