The city is continuing to lose money on the Buffalo Bisons lease for Dunn Tire Park, with the deficit likely to range between $400,000 and $500,000 for the year. But Michael Masiello, city stadium director, holds out hope for a better result next year.
The city is trying to increase revenue from the dates it controls, and Masiello said he will meet soon with representatives of a lacrosse league out of New Jersey that is showing some interest in possibilities here.
"I imagine they are planning on placing teams in four, six or eight cities," he said. "They are looking at placing a team in Buffalo."
Whether Dunn Tire Park is suitable in configuration for lacrosse remains a question, the stadium director said.
Another development good for the revenue line is the plan to hold University at Buffalo spring baseball games there, Masiello said.
Michael Masiello presented his good and bad news at a mayoral budget hearing presided over by his older brother, Mayor Anthony M. Masiello, who inherited the ballpark lease reached in 1986.
Michael Masiello presented a $1.1 million budget request, with $61,453 in new money. He seeks $23,929 to offer 45 seasonal workers $6.92 an hour, the rate provided now for four other seasonal workers.
"We have a lot of problems," he said. "They come. They don't want to work. They quit. We find ourselves without seasonals for a couple weeks at a time."
Michael Masiello said the stadium is now 13 years old and increasing attention is needed for maintenance. In the past two years, the city invested $60,000 to fix springs in stadium seats.
"It's imperative we stay on top of it," he said. "Seat springs are not cheap."