Honor the old stadium

It had been 52 years since my father and grandfather took me to my first Buffalo Bills game in 1962 at the War Memorial Stadium. My wife, Marianne, and I drove over to the stadium site this past Wednesday and the main gate was still there and I could almost smell the smells of coffee, cigarettes and cigars and remembered the cold concrete ramps lined with fans drinking and smoking.

What an experience for a 10-year-old kid. It was Cookie Gilchrist’s first year in the pros and I remember every detail of that day, from parking in the neighborhood on their front lawns, to the support poles that supported the roof of the stadium. We were thinking how nice it would be to have the team honor the stadium with a scrimmage or a preseason game there. How fitting to honor Mr. Wilson, the team and the city of Buffalo. We think it would be a real national TV hit! We have been spending lots of time in downtown Buffalo enjoying the beautiful architecture, historic hotels and squares and, of course, the zoo. Way to go Buffalo, “Beautiful City.

Dave and Marianne Barton

Las Vegas, NV

Bring the A’s to Buffalo

The Buffalo A’s! Sound crazy? Consider. The A’s future in Oakland County Coliseum is up in the air after 2015. The A’s want out. Portland, Ore., is hard at work in luring the team. One huge problem with Portland is that it no longer has a AAA team, only Class A playing in a 4,500 capacity site. Portland’s pitch is to expand it to 15,000 or 20,000 to serve as temporary home while they build a 35,000 seat facility. The A’s would prefer relocating to San Jose, but its park is inadequate and a move there is now off the boards. Portland could not support the AAA Beavers, losing professional baseball completely from 2010 to 2012.

Coca-Cola Field is expandable to 35,000 or 40,000. Our storied history in supporting AAA baseball is unquestioned and who doubts we would support the A’s and outdraw Tampa? Houston played in front of 14,000 on June 22 and the Indians drew 26,000 for the first place Tigers the same day.

Obstacles? Of course. Convince owner Lew Wolff that we would welcome his team with open arms. He’s reported to wanting to sell the team and Portland claims to have a Japanese group about the size of Nintendo in sight. Think his team might be more valuable here than in an outdated facility in an indifferent Oakland?

The Buffalo A’s would be in the AL Central. Move Kansas City to the AL West. The Royals are as close to California as Houston or the Rangers, so the “travel burden” is not an issue. The Blue Jays-Bisons people will need to be on board of course. Major League Baseball and the other owners know how attractive Buffalo is for a relocation franchise.

Anyone doubt this is the last train leaving the station? Any crazier than the horseless carriage or the “Foolish Club.”

Wayne Landesman

Orchard Park

Drunken fans ruin games

So one drunken fan is guilty of unlawful behavior. In my estimation the real guilty parties are the Bills and NFL who only give these events lip service but no real action to curtail this type of fan behavior.

When was the last time you heard someone say what a great time their family had at a Bills game? There is no one I know, including myself, who would expose their family to the disgusting behavior that passes for an NFL gameday experience.

They want the taxpayers to help build a billion dollar playpen so the 20- and 30-year-olds have a place to get obnoxious and drunk 10 days a year.

I just returned from Pittsburgh where I observed the way a gameday experience should be handled. Before the game fans were advised about conducting themselves in a manner suitable for a family event. During the game the ushers never left their section and watched for any trouble between innings. Needless to say it was a great experience for all including families with young children.

Maybe if the Bills really cared about stopping the drunks, they might find it easier to sell out more games if I and others could feel safe to bring their families to a game. Sadly, I won’t hold my breath.

Hank Olejniczak


Giving up on Sabres

The dilemma faced by current Buffalo Sabres season-ticket holders had just reached the critical stage recently as the initial down payment for the upcoming season came due.

Should we dole out multi-thousands of dollars to watch a team whose management is seemingly admitting to taking the path of most resistance, that being to look and play at a relatively inferior level for 2-3 years with hope of nirvana, the Stanley Cup, soon after that? I, for one, can’t do it.

I’m not sure if it’s because the sport of hockey has become less interesting to me these days due to the excessive stoppages in play and lack of meaningful scoring opportunities or because the team I’m supposed to be rooting for is just, well, awful!

No thanks! I’ll take my chances that it will be an especially long time before I’ll regret my decision to forego a few more years of boring hockey.

I’m sure I can find a few things to do with my newly found windfall. Can anyone say “Buffalo Bills?”

Dale Slisz