Coca-Cola Field Review
Reviewed by Malcolm MacMillan Rating: 4
- Largest stadium in the Minors
- Biggest scoreboard in the Minors since 2011
Coca-Cola Field opened in time for the 1988 season and with 18,025 seats, it's been the largest Minor League Baseball stadium since Omaha's Rosenblatt Stadium closed in 2010. Before taking the name Coca-Cola Field prior to the 2009 season, the ballpark was called Pilot Field (1988 to 1994), Downtown Ballpark (1994), North AmeriCare Park (1995 to 1998) and Dunn Tire Park (1999 to 2008).
The stadium was built with the hopes of Major League Baseball returning to Buffalo. At the time of its construction, rumors of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Montreal Expos relocating had Buffalo hoping it would soon have an MLB franchise. If a Big League franchise were granted, the plan was for the stadium to undergo construction to add an upper deck of seating to bring the number of seats close to the 40,000 mark. Five years after it was built, Buffalo finished behind Colorado and Florida as National League expansion cities.
The field itself is perfectly symmetrical: 325 feet to each corner and 404 to straightaway center field. The Bisons dugout is on the first base side, and bullpens are located down the lines.
Prior to the 2011 season, the Bisons installed the largest high-definition LED scoreboard in the Minor Leagues. The $2.5 million screen measures 80 feet by 33 feet, giving fans more than 2,500 square feet of viewing space.