Raptors in Buffalo

2 Jul

As the Bills have decided to regionalize their fan base by playing some regular season games up in Toronto, there has been some movement, spurred on by Buffalo News publisher Stan Lipsey and Senator Chuck Schumer, to have the Toronto Raptors play some home games at our own HSBC arena.

Sounds like a great idea to not only bring the NBA back to Buffalo, albeit in a limited way. It would also help to further the cause of Buffalo-Toronto economic and cultural integration, from which both cities stand to benefit in some way.

Now if we could just get Via Rail to propose a dedicated high speed service between Buffalo and Toronto with pre-screening at the station so there are no border waits, and with improved transportation links in Buffalo to sports, shopping, and cultural attractions. That would be huge.

(Image courtesy Buffalo Braves’ History)

9 Responses to “Raptors in Buffalo”

  1. al-alo July 2, 2008 at 9:20 am #

    how about a couple of Jays games? we need some summer sports.

  2. Mike July 2, 2008 at 10:31 am #

    Maybe a few strip clubs too!!

  3. Jon Splett July 2, 2008 at 3:23 pm #

    I’ve been lobbying for a Jays game all season long and with Toronto being the current favorite to take over the MLB affiliation next season, I think it could really work.

    The main hangup would be the fact that Dunn Tire Park doesn’t hold enough fans for Major League Baseball’s liking but there’s actually recent precedent against this. The Devil Rays played a series against the Rangers last year at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Park and that place only holds about 10,000 while DTP holds 18,025. I’d also be willing to bet we’d sell the place out while the Rays only managed about 8,000 in Disney.

    League rules prevent the team from talking about an affiliation switch until the season’s over but when and if we do end up as Toronto’s farm team, you can bet this is going to come up.

  4. Buffalopundit July 2, 2008 at 3:31 pm #

    If they can play hockey at the Ralph, they can play baseball at the Ralph. After all, didn’t the Jets used to play in Yankee Stadium?

  5. Jon Splett July 2, 2008 at 3:47 pm #

    The problem with the Ralph Alan is that is the field itself is pretty narrow and how exactly they’d fit a diamond on it and still have room for any foul ground is a tough one. I’m sure it’s possible but I doubt the league or the teams will want to play a regular season game on a quirky field. A pre-season game could work but with Buffalo weather the way it is early on, the Bisons first homestand is usually a nightmare and I can’t see a spring training game working here. Plus attendance wise, a spring game full of minor leaguers in the cold weather just isn’t going to draw.

    I’d love to see the Ralph packed full of baseball fans and maybe I’m wrong on the field dimensions (I only looked at them briefly after I did a post on this in April- http://buffalobaseballblog.wnymedia.net/blogs/archives/379) but I think the best bet is to do it at DTP.

    (And while I’m at it I’ll get a cheap plug in. Tomorrow’s annual Independence Day/Philharmonic concert Bisons game is going to be broadcast live on Time Warner’s Local Access station and I’ll be bringing back the liveblog from the press box so if anyone wants to follow along with that, check the WNYM sports page tomorrow)

  6. Snarky Snarkmore McSnarkamaphone July 2, 2008 at 3:49 pm #

    Um, do we really want to start calling that place… “The Ralph?”

    Actually… yeah.

  7. al-alo July 2, 2008 at 5:31 pm #

    i know capacity is an issue Dunn Tire Park. just an uninformed thought, but it seems temporary bleachers could be added on the outfield walls to add a few more seats. or even the parking garage due south.

    in any case, there are 5 MLB teams that average about that amount of attendance (Oakland, TB, KC, Pitt, & Fla) so far this season. add a few seats, i think its competitive.

  8. al-alo July 2, 2008 at 5:50 pm #

    id bet Labatt’s would jump all over a cross border game.

  9. STEEL July 2, 2008 at 10:31 pm #

    The Bears used to play at Wrigley Field.

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