BUFFALO, NY (WKBW/BISONS) - The Buffalo Bisons today announced the 2011 playing schedule for the 126th season of professional baseball in downtown Buffalo and the 24th year at Coca-Cola Field. The addition of a fridaynightbash!® and a pair of two 10-game homestands highlight another exciting season of Bisons baseball.
The Bisons are home for 12 fridaynightbash!® games next season, including an amazing seven summer Fridays in a nine-week span from June 24 – August 19. In July alone, Coca-Cola Field will play host to games on Friday 1st, 15th, 22nd and 29th.
“Friday nights at Coca-Cola Field encapsulate all that’s great about summers in downtown Buffalo; the great sports fans of Western New York gathering at the beautiful home of the Bisons to enjoy the best sports and family entertainment experience and value in town,” said Mike Buczkowski, Bisons Vice President/General Manger.
The 2011 regular season will begin on Thursday, April 7 for Opening Day at Coca-Cola Field as the Bisons host the Syracuse Chiefs. It will be the first time the Herd has ever opened the season at home against the Chiefs.
The Summer of the fridaynightbash!®
There are 12 fridaynightbash!® games scheduled for 2011 with eight on tap for the summer months of June, July and August. In 2010, the Bisons hosted 11 fridaynightbash!® games with only six during the summer and five before the end of May.
The Bisons will be home for seven Fridays in a nine-week stretch, with games on June 10th and 24th, July 1st, 15th, 22nd and 29th and August 12th and 19th. After the 2011 All-Star break, the Bisons will be home for three consecutive Fridays from July 15-29.
Along with 12 Fridays, the Bisons will be home for 10 Saturday games and 11 Sunday games, giving fans 33 weekend games to choose from (46 % of schedule). The team will host 12 Thursday games in 2011 with the fewest games falling on Mondays (10), Tuesdays (9) and Wednesdays (8).
Game times will be released at a later date.
Herd/Chiefs Opener Starts Year Off
Opening Day on Thursday, April 7 against the Syracuse Chiefs will start the 24th season at Coca-Cola Field. Since the ballpark opened on 1988, the Bisons are 14-9 in home openers.
The Bisons have posted a winning record at home in 17 of the previous 22 seasons at Coca-Cola Field, with an overall record of 956-676 (.586 winning percentage). The Herd is 36-22 at home this season.
Since Coca-Cola Field opened in 1988, the Bisons have had a paid attendance of 18,459,196.
A Pair of Perfect 10s
Next year’s schedule will feature two 10-game homestands. The Bisons will be home Friday, Jun 24 – Sunday, July 3 for a four-game series against the Norfolk Tides, a four-game series with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and a two-game set against the Syracuse Chiefs. The Herd is also home for 10 straight games, Wednesday, August 10 – Friday, August 19, for games against Syracuse, the Durham Bulls and the Toledo Mud Hens.
The Bisons have not had a scheduled 10-game homestand since August 8-17, 2007. Buffalo did play 12 straight games at Coca-Cola Field from July 10-24, 2008 with the season’s All-Star break included in that stretch.
It 2011, the Bisons will have just one homestand shorter than four games, July 14-15 against Rochester.
2011 Schedule Highlights
The Bisons will play 42 of their 72 games (58%) from June on, with 15 games in June, 13 in July, 13 in August and one in September. The most home games the Bisons have in any month is 16 in May.
The Bisons/Syracuse Chiefs rivalry will take on a new level of intensity in 2011. The Herd hosts the Chiefs on Opening Day, for the 17th Annual Independence Eve Celebration with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus on Sunday, July 3 and for the final home game of the season, Thursday, August 1.
The Bisons closest rival, the Rochester Red Wings, first visits Coca-Cola Field on Monday, April 18. Buffalo will host the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, for four games, May 9-12 and again from July 26-29.
The International League format is unchanged from last season. Each team is scheduled to play 144 games (72 at home). The Bisons will play North Division opponents 16 times each (eight at home) and the Herd will face teams from the South and West Division eight times each (four at home).
2011 All-Star Game
The 24th Annual Triple-A All-Star Game will be played on Wednesday, July 13th at Franklin Covey Field in Salt Lake City, UT, home of the Pacific Coast League’s Salt Lake Bees. Representatives from the International League will face off against the best from the PCL.