Sahlen Field Named Professional Baseball Field of the Year
Although the last pitch of the season has been thrown, we've heard the final crack of the bat, and the turf is currently covered in a fresh blanket of snow, there is still action at Sahlen Field as the year comes to a close.
On Monday, Sahlen Field, home of the Buffalo Bisons and the Toronto Blue Jays for a bulk of the 2020/2021 seasons, was named "Professional Baseball Field of the Year" by the Sports Turf Managers Association. This award is focused on the playing field itself, rather than the stadium.
"STMA is a non-profit, professional association for the men and women who manage outdoor sports fields worldwide. Since 1981, they have been providing education and practical knowledge in the art and science of sports field management. The single goal of their more than 2,600 members is to manage sports field playing surfaces to the safest level possible. Every year, STMA presents the industry’s highest honors to members who manage baseball, football, soccer, softball and other sporting playing surfaces at the professional, collegiate, schools (K-12), and parks and recreation levels."
They give out the award each year to a natural grass field that exhibits the following criteria;
- Excellent Playability
- A field whose managers utilize innovative solutions
- A field whose managers effectively use their budgets
- A field that has implemented a comprehensive agronomic program.
We're not exactly sure what all of that means when it comes to playing a baseball game, but it clearly is a job well done by the staff of the Buffalo Bisons, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the team at Sahlen Field.
The award is notable, as the field has hosted both the Blue Jays for 49 games and their Minor League affiliate the Bisons for 23 games, over the last two seasons which tied Sahlen Field with Estadio Hiram Bithorn in San Juan, Puerto Rico for hosting the most regular-season MLB games at a non-MLB stadium.