Sunday, January 13, 2013

Buffalo, New York Pro Sports Guide

Shopping, the Bills and Sabres. If you're from the Canadian side of the Niagara River, that's what Buffalo means to you. Buffalo is a great sports town - don't forget the lacrosse, baseball and soccer!

Buffalo Sabres - NHL (National Hockey League)

The Sabres first entered the National Hockey League for the 1970-71 season, along with the Vancouver Canucks. The NHL club plays out of the First Niagara Center at the south end of the downtown core. The First Niagara Center currently seats 19,070 for hockey and was also home to the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships in 2010.

The Sabres have yet to win a Stanley Cup championship but have been to the dance on two occasions. In 1974-75, Buffalo lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in the finals and in 1998-99, they saw defeat at the hands of the Dallas Stars.

Buffalo Bandits - NLL (National Lacrosse League)

The Buffalo Bandits of the NLL also play out of the First Niagara Center. The Bandits have been a professional box lacrosse franchise sine 1992, when the league was known as the Major Indoor Lacrosse League (MILL). The Bandits have been crowned champs on four occasions to date: 1992, 1993, 1996 and 2008.

Buffalo Bills - NFL (National Football League)

For now, the Bills play out of the 73,079 seat Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park. There is much speculation that the team will move - quite possibly even to Toronto. The Bills were members of the American Football League (AFL) from 1960 to 1969 and won two championships in that league before it merged with the NFL. In both 1964 and 1965, Buffalo took out the San Diego Chargers to win it all.

Buffalo has been a member of the NFL since 1970. Although the team last played a game in the playoffs in 1999, the Bills were Super Bowl finalists in four consecutive years, 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993.

Buffalo Bisons - IL (International League)

The current form of the Bisons baseball franchise has been around since 1979. From 1979 to 1984, the Bisons were classed as AA and have been AAA since 1985. 2013 marks the first year that the team is the AAA affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Bisons play out of Coca-Cola Field, a 18,025 seat stadium just blocks away from the First Niagara Center. Buffalo has won championships in 1998 and 2004 but played their last playoff game in 2005.

FC Buffalo - NPSL (National Premier Soccer League)

Below the MLS and considered a tier 4 league, the NPSL and FC Buffalo have been in town since 2010. The team plays out of the Robert E. Rich All High Stadium which seats 4,000. In their three seasons to date, FC Buffalo has yet to qualify for the playoffs.

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