The venerable triple-A franchise affiliate of the New York Mets opens the 2009 season tomorrow against the Pawtucket Red Sox. With a mid-week 2:30pm home opener, in Buffalo, where tomorrow's game time forecast is 45 degrees, the Bisons are offering 4 free tickets to anyone who has lost a job. That sounds like a fun time!
A stadium full of unemployed people, at 2:30 on a Thursday afternoon, in Buffalo, in April, when it is 45 degrees. Now, I grew up in the suburbs of Buffalo, so no bashing from me. I have great memories, but is this a promotion Bill Veeck would think up?
They averaged 8,257 fans per game last year in a stadium that holds over 18,000.
Buffalo's unemployment rate is at 9%. Is there room here for some great community relations? You bet. With the Final Four, and so much discussion about the impact on the city of Detroit, over a weekend, let's keep an eye on how community based minor league teams really look to dig in and support the fan base that has supported them.
Minor league baseball is the proving ground for creativity, promotions and a fun atmosphere. I will look forward to watching the promotion calendar to see how teams attempt to connect with certain depressed communities, and fans that are financially hurting.