The Buffalo Bisons have the "Help Wanted" sign hanging at Sahlen Field. They're looking to fill additional seasonal positions within the downtown Buffalo ballpark, in advance of the Toronto Blue Jays' arrival to borrow the facility for home games. And this year, a new program is being added that encourages volunteers from not-for-profit agencies to work concession stands in exchange for cash toward their organization.
The Blue Jays, the Major League Baseball "parent club" of the minor league Bisons, will begin playing home games June 1, in its second year calling Buffalo its temporary home. With the US-Canada border closed and COVID stay-at-home orders in effect in Ontario, the Jays once again find themselves unable to play home games in Toronto's Rogers Centre.
This year, however, fans will be admitted to games at Sahlen Field, though under COVID-related restrictions including limited capacity and sections separating vaccinated and non-vaccinated spectators. With fans in the ballpark, there will be the need to feed them. Though with safety concerns to consider, Bisons officials say they need to adjust how they'll prepare and deliver concessions to visiting fans. And for that, they'll need more help.
“It's a new system that needs to be learned and, you know, we're gonna get there on June 1,” said Bisons assistant general manager Brad Bisbing. “We’re just definitely looking for some more bodies, some more people that are excited about working at the ballpark, working an historic season at the ballpark, and being part of the team for Major League Baseball in Buffalo.”
The Bisons are actively accepting applications to work seasonal jobs. In addition, they're utilizing a program similar to one the Buffalo Bills have used for years, inviting not-for-profit organizations to provide a team of volunteers who work a concession stand during a game. In return, the participating organization receives a cash donation.
“Not only will the groups get like a flat rate for just for being part of it, but they will get a portion of all sales from that stand,” Bisbing said. “So it's a nice way to have a nice team building activity but also raise some important funds for causes in a time when a lot of these organizations haven't been able to do their usual fundraising things.”
The Bisons, to make way for the Blue Jays, are playing home games in Trenton, New Jersey. The Blue Jays' first home series at Sahlen Field begins June 1. Tickets go on sale Thursday, May 20, though its the Blue Jays, not the Bisons, who are handling those sales.