BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Buffalo is ready for Major League Baseball! After weeks of work, upgrades to Sahlen Field are complete as the Queen City prepares to host the Toronto Blue Jays and several other MLB teams.
"I said to people if you closed your eyes and walk in and opened them, you may think you're at Rogers Centre," Bisons general manager Mike Buczkowski said. "That's the length this organization has gone to make this team feel at home."
The stadium underwent a big transformation to make hosting these games possible. Some of the work included expanding the dugouts to accommodate both players and coaches, upgrading the locker rooms and weight rooms for players to utilize, re-sodding parts of the infield and outfield, and installing several new LED bulbs to provide better lighting.
"Last [Sunday] night was pretty cool," Marnie Starkman, Senior VP of Marketing and Business Operations for the Blue Jays, said. "Our coaching staff arrived and just watching their reaction when they walked in, made us feel like we at least achieved making it feel like home with was a priority."
The city also announced nearly $759,000 in improvements that were already in the works. Those included expanded netting to protect fans, a freight elevator replacement, and engineering for roof and electrical work.
"We are very proud of this ballpark and very proud of our investments in Sahlen Field," Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said. "We will continue to invest in this family-friendly amenity that we have in the city of Buffalo."
Fans aren't allowed to attend the games and won't be able to watch from afar. Fences have been put up around the outfield and surrounding lots will be closed to eliminate any type of tailgating. For those wishing to watch these games on TV, Buczkowski recommends subscribing to MLB TV. Only a few games will be shown on local TV, when the Jays play the Mets and the Yankees.
According to the latest schedule, the Blue Jays will play 27 games in Buffalo which includes a doubleheader against Philadelphia. The first game is scheduled for Tuesday evening at 6:37pm as the Blue Jays host the Miami Marlins.