Local foods got top billing Thursday as the Buffalo Bisons unveiled several new food, beverage and merchandise items they will offer for the 2017 season.
When the gates open for the season opener April 6 against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the team will offer Rich's fried cheese curds and Ru's pierogis at the concession stands, featuring varieties like buffalo wing and beef on weck. In Pettibones Grille, fans can order Chiavetta's chicken drumsticks and a chicken wing dip appetizer. And the gameday rental suites will now feature sushi from Seabar.
"It's great to see some Polish food added to our menu," said Bisons VP/General Manager Mike Buczkowski. The local food is "something we've tried to do the last 8-10 years. It's something Buffalo is known for. It's one of our great assets, our establishments. The places in neighborhoods that have become well-known in our community.
"Now when our fans come here and you walk through the concourse or you're in Pettibones or up in the suites, you're able to choose from the staples. Whether it's the local craft beers or the food items, you can really delve into what we're known for and I think that enhances our experience."
Among the other ballpark items shown Thursday were pulled pork bread cones from BW's Barbecue, Phyllo-wrapped shrimp, pot roast sliders, roast beef and goat cheese grilled cheese, deep fried pickle spears and deep fried twinkies. The team will also have a Healthy Options Cart operating by Section 105.
The team's Friday night happy hours will be sponsored by Resurgence Brewing Co. beginning May 5. All 14 oz. craft flavors like Loganberry Wit and Sponge Candy Stout will cost just $3. Each Friday will have a unique promotional theme, including the annual Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony on June 30.
"We try to look at what's emerging," Buczkowski said. "If they're not local products, they're emerging products. Things that have popped up around town, around the country or things that have popped up in other arenas or other ballparks. We try to bring what we think is the best and create that variety."
As part of their seasonlong celebration of the 30th anniversary of the ballpark, the Bisons have added $1 hot dog nights for its championship banner giveaways on May 30 (1997), July 30 (1998) and Aug. 30 (2004). There will also be a Coca-Cola Field replica giveaway on June 15.
The team also announced that its Friday night fireworks, a staple since the park opened, will be a new In-Park Experience from Zambelli International with the fireworks shot inside the ballpark walls rather than from a nearby parking lot.
There are nearly 2,900 new green seats added on the lower level of the ballpark, with most sections but the farthest down the lines featuring the wider seats. The capacity this year is now 16,907.