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MLB opts to delay opening of Triple-A season until May

MLB opts to delay opening of Triple-A season until May

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Sahlen Field (copy)

The Bisons won't play in Sahlen Field until May.

The Buffalo Bisons were scheduled to play their first game in more than 19 months on April 6 but a report by ESPN's Jeff Passan on Tuesday night indicates the wait will be even longer.

Major League Baseball, which has taken over operation of the minors, has opted to push back the start of the Triple-A season by a month. That means a first pitch in early May that will match the starts for Double-A and Class A.

The Bisons tweeted Tuesday night the tentative start to the season is now May 4 against Worcester and that the 30 games scheduled to that point would not be made up.

"This is a prudent step to complete the major league and minor league seasons as safely as possible, and we look forward to having fans back in ballparks across the country very soon," Morgan Sword, MLB's executive VP of baseball operations, said in a statement to ESPN.

Officials remain wary of Triple-A teams traveling by commercial aircraft and are hoping a delay in the season could allow for more chances for vaccination. MLB teams will instead stash their Triple-A players at alternate training site camps like they did during the 2020 season.

The Bisons were slated to meet the Rochester Red Wings in the April 6 opener at Sahlen Field as part of the 142-game schedule of the new Triple-A East league. The current schedule goes until Sept. 19.

What's also unclear is if the Bisons will be playing in Buffalo this year. They're still awaiting word on the Toronto Blue Jays' plans for their home games starting in May. The parent club could spend part of their season here, forcing the Bisons to play elsewhere, or could play most of the summer at the home of their Triple-A affiliate.

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