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4 reasons to catch a Minor League game

Taking in the sights, sounds and smells of a ballpark on a summer day — it’s a timeless American tradition. In Western New York, opportunities abound to catch the boys of summer ply their trade. In Buffalo, the Bisons play right downtown at Coca-Cola Field, and in Rochester, the Red Wings Frontier Field is nestled between the 490 and the Inner Loop.

But there’s more than ambiance and history to make catching a game with one of the local teams worth your while this summer. Here are four more reasons to check out a AAA baseball game.

It’s outdoors!

We suffer through months of WNY weather that’s decidedly not baseball appropriate. When the temperature does finally turn, Buffalonians can’t wait to get out of the house and enjoy it while it lasts. With both teams playing home schedules from April to early September, a game is the perfect way to turn a regular day or evening into one spent (pleasantly) outdoors.

There’s more than baseball

Fireworks | Buffalo Bisons | 4 reasons to catch a Minor League game | Discover

Fireworks cap off the Bisons' Friday home games. (Mark Davies/Buffalo Bisons)

Both teams run a variety of promotions, from Dog Day and Bark in the Park nights — where fans can bring their dogs — to full-on theme games, like Star Wars Night or LEGO Weekend. There’s something fun planned for every single home game this year for both teams.

The Bisons are best known for their fridaynightbash! events, where the game concludes with fireworks. They also roll out the big guns on July 3, when the Buffalo Philharmonic and Chorus perform in front of the biggest firework display of the year.

Family-friendly prices

One of the downsides of attending an NHL or NFL game around here is the cost, between concessions and the ticket price. AAA baseball brings the game-day experience at a budget-friendly price point.

For both teams, tickets in the best seats can be had for less than $15. In Rochester, the cheapest seats to most games can be had for $8, in Buffalo those seats are usually about $11.

Concessions are reasonable as well. The teams offer various specials on specific items, with free and discounted items available for many weeknight games all summer. The Red Wings feature a season-long promotion great for families: $1 Wednesdays, where hot dogs, peanuts, Cracker Jacks and chips are all just a buck.

Top talent

Buffalo Bisons | 4 reasons to catch a Minor League game | Discover

(Buffalo Bisons)

Both teams play in the International League, which is part of AAA baseball — the highest level of feeder league for Major League Baseball. The Bisons are affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Red Wings are part of the Minnesota Twins organization.

Because of these connections, minor league baseball games often let fans get to see the stars of tomorrow before they’re in the show. The Bisons start the season with six of the Jay’s top 20 prospects on the roster and hope to make the playoffs this season for the first time since 2005.

The Red Wings feature a rotation anchored by top organizational prospect Fernando Romero as well as 6’10” Aaron Slegers, who is one of the biggest men to ever play baseball. They also have an exciting lineup that is capable of scoring runs on any given night.

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