BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Buffalo Bisons announced Friday the team will begin its season in Trenton, New Jersey as a renovation project is completed to prepare Sahlen Field for Major League Baseball regular season games.
The Bisons' home in Trenton will be at the home of the Double A Trenton Thunder. Major League Baseball previously announced the start of the Triple A season was delayed and would start in May rather than in April. The Bisons' first game is scheduled for May 4.
Officials say due to COVID-19 restrictions on travel between the U.S. and Canada, the renovation project at Sahlen Field is a joint project between the Bisons and Toronto Blue Jays to prepare the facility for MLB regular season home games under COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
The main upgrades include:
- Moving the bullpens off the field and behind the outfield walls
- New batting cages built beyond right field
- New weight room and renovated clubhouse facilities
- LED light bulb replacements plus two additional temporary lighting poles
The Bisons say the upgrades exceed MLB standards for player development facilities.
After a nearly decade-long partnership with the Toronto Blue Jays, these Sahlen Field upgrades are a natural progression of our successful partnership. Sahlen Field is one of the oldest ballparks in all of Triple-A so these upgrades are essential for the long-term success of having high-quality baseball in Buffalo, NY for many years to come. We thank the Trenton Thunder organization for opening their doors and welcoming the Bisons so this renovation can be completed.
At this time, the Blue Jays will play their "home" games in April and May at their spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida.
In March, City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown announced the city was in active talks with the Bisons and the Blue Jays about the major league team returning to Sahlen Field this season.
The Blue Jays played 26 games at Sahlen Field in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions on travel between the U.S. and Canada.
We very much enjoyed having the Blue Jays call the great city of Buffalo their home last season and the potential for doing so again, this time with fans, is an extremely exciting possibility. I applaud the Buffalo Bisons and Toronto Blue Jays organizations for privately funding these major improvements to our city’s ballpark so that Sahlen Field can continue to be a great community asset for many years to come.
The games in 2020 were played without fans in the stands, with new state guidance in place, should the Blue Jays play in Buffalo they could have around 3,000 fans in attendance.
Officials say no date has been set for a Blue Jays move to Sahlen Field, the Blue Jays will communicate updates as they are available.
The following statement was released for Bisons season ticket holders:
Bisons season ticket holders and fans with credits from the 2020 season will receive official communication from the team in the next few days outlining the several flexible options available to them. Fans are also encouraged to visit the Bisons.com 2021 Tickets Options & FAQs Page for more information on many of their ticketing questions.