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Same home, new name: Bisons' ballpark renamed Sahlen Field

Buffalo Bisons

A local meat producer celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2019 has bought the naming rights for Buffalo's downtown baseball stadium. For the next 10 years, the Bisons' home ballpark will be known as Sahlen Field, team officials announced Tuesday.

Sahlen Packing Company is a family-owned company whose hot dogs have been the Bisons' "official" such product since 2012. Founded in 1869, Sahlen's has since expanded to sell hot dogs, smokehouse ham and turkey breasts in 25 states.

"As we at Sahlen celebrate our 150th year of doing business in 2019, we couldn’t be more excited about expanding our relationship with the Bisons," said company president Joe E. Sahlen in a prepared statement released in advance of the Bisons' Tuesday afternoon news conference. "Both brands have a rich history in Buffalo and we are looking forward to another great season."

Bisons officials welcome the new partnership as an expansion of an already welcomed partnership. The ballpark was previously named Coca Cola Field, owned by the Coca Coca Bottling Company of Buffalo until that agreement lapsed at the conclusion of the 2018 baseball season. 

This is the fifth name for the downtown ballpark, which opened in 1988 as Pilot Field and was subsequently renamed North Americare Park, Dunn Tire Park and most recently Coca Cola Field.

Credit Mike Desmond / WBFO News

This is not the first time Joe Sahlen has been involved in sports naming rights. His company previously held the naming rights to a soccer stadium in Rochester. He also owns the Western New York Flash women's soccer organization, which included franchises in three professional leagues from 2009 to 2016. The Flash continue to operate as a pro-am team in the second-tier United Women's Soccer and as host to  numerous youth teams and a training academy.

The family name is also featured prominently at a 200,000-square-foot indoor and outdoor sports facility in Elma, Sahlen's Sports Park.

The Bisons open their 2019 International League baseball season on April 4 at home against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. 

WBFO's Michael Mroziak contributed to this story.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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