Remember When Buffalo Almost Got a Major League Baseball Team?
Back in 1988, Sahlen Field was known as Pilot Field and it was one of the most impressive new ballparks in the country for minor league or major league baseball.
Buffalo was hopeful to get an expansion baseball team when MLB had plans to expand in the early 90s.
Pilot Field had street-level amenities, a full-scale restaurant inside the ballpark, and a state-of-the-art scoreboard. The Bisons were also selling out games their first three seasons in the minors, which was thought to be an appealing draw for the MLB.
The Bisons even beat out three major league team's attendance in 1988.
Plans were put in place to expand the capacity from less than 20,000 seats to 45,000 seats if the city was awarded an expansion franchise.
But in 1991, Denver and Miami were given the new expansion franchises. The league-entry fee was $95 million, which was very high back then, for a city like Buffalo, who already had two high-profile professional sports franchises.
Buffalo was a small market and major league baseball went after large markets, as evidence by Denver, Miami and eventually Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg later in the decade.
Still, it would have been very cool to have a MLB team here in Buffalo. Our station is literally three blocks from Sahlen Field.
The relaxing feel of baseball games are unmatched and hopefully the AAA Bisons take the field again soon.