Blue Jays Turn Sahlen Field into Home
Sahlen Field is a major league ballpark and it's ready to play ball.
The home of the Buffalo Bisons has gone through extensive changes to be ready to host the majority of Toronto Blue Jays home games this season with a 27-game slate scheduled to begin Tuesday, August 11 against the Miami Marlins.
From new grass in the infield to portable lights to an entire compound in the ballpark's parking lot for the visiting team, Sahlen Field looks quite difference since the Herd's Fan Appreciation Night loss to the Red Wings late last August.
Check out the video tour of all the changes below!
"I'm proud of what we were able to accomplish," said Marnie Starkman, Blue Jays Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Operations. "I don't want to say that without emphasizing the tremendous support we got from the Bisons."
"Last night was pretty cool when our coaching staff arrived. Seeing their reactions made us feel like we achieved our goal in making this feel like home."
Home, and the home clubhouse, for the Blue Jays is now most of the ballpark's service level, which in 2019 was used for both the Bisons and their opponents to get ready for the game as well as the location for the shared batting cages. This year, and in large part due to social distancing standards, the Blue Jays coaches will use the Bisons home clubhouse, the batting cages have been turned into a clubhouse for the "hometown" Blue Jays players and the old visiting clubhouse is a stretching area for the Blue Jays before entering the field.
That means the Blue Jays dugout will be on their customary 3B side, just like at Rogers Centre.
Meanwhile, the Blue Jays erected a massive structure in the centerfield parking lot for the visiting teams to have their lockers and meeting space. And the main concourse is now where batting cages and the Blue Jays weight room equipment are now stationed.
Most of the changes to the ballpark are temporary and will leave when the Blue Jays 2020 season is complete. However, there have still been significant upgrades to the ballpark that will remain for when the Bisons take the field again in 2021.
"The infield and the bulbs [in the permanent towers] will stay and the interior stuff we will collaborate with Mike Buczkowski and the Bisons on what will remain," said Starkman. "Significant resources have been put in here and what we are leaving here is going to help the Bisons and our Triple-a players for years to come.
"We are extremely grateful to have a home in Buffalo this season, thanks to the openness, creativity, and partnership of the Buffalo Bisons, Major League Baseball, and Blue Jays staff, who have worked tirelessly to prepare us for games at Sahlen Field," Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro said in a statement. "This process has no doubt tested our team's resilience, but our players and staff refuse to make excuses."
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International League Stories from August 10, 2020
- Blue Jays Turn Sahlen Field into Home - Buffalo Bisons
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