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Official Review by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Canisius College is a Jesuit University located in Buffalo, NY. It was founded in 1870 to service the largely Jesuit Catholic European immigrants who settled in the greater Buffalo region. Today it has a student body of greater than 4,000 students who attend one of three schools; Arts and Sciences, Business or Education and Human Services.
The Canisius athletic teams compete as the Golden Griffins, and are part of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. A Golden Griffin is a mythical creature that is a hybrid of the head, forelegs and wings of an eagle, combined with the hindquarters, tails and ears of a lion. It was chosen by the school to represent speed and the ability to soar like an eagle, while having the strength and courage of a lion. In 2013 the Golden Griffin was named the winner of best Catholic School Mascot in the Country by BustedHalo.com, a Catholic web magazine written by and for young adults. (Notre Dame’s leprechaun could not be reached for a comment!)
The Golden Griffins baseball team has an overall record of two hundred-plus games under .500, but in recent years has turned the program around, with a winning percentage over .600, a MAAC tournament championship and a NCAA Tournament appearance. The baseball team’s home, Demske Sports Complex, shares many of the hybrid qualities of the school’s mascot. It is truly one of the more unique athletic facilities you will visit, especially at the college level. Due to the urban setting and a lack of space to expand, along with the harsh weather Buffalo experiences, Canisius has a single 14-acre, artificial turf multi-purpose facility to service its baseball, soccer, lacrosse and softball programs. The field is made of A-Turf, which is designed to increase shock absorption, decrease injuries and stand up to the heavy use by multiple sports. Because of its versatility, Demske has hosted MAAC championship tournaments for soccer, softball and lacrosse on the same field in the past few years. The complex has permanent grandstand seating for 1,000 and portable bleachers to hold an additional 200 spectators.
The baseball portion of the complex is in one quadrant of the complex, and it has an all-artificial surface with the exception of the home plate area, the areas immediately around the bases and the pitcher’s mound. This minimizes the amount of grounds keeping required on the field, as the turf drains quickly and any snow can be removed with a brushing machine. The main work required to prepare the field for a game is the installation of a temporary fence in right field to enclose the actual in-play area. The backstop and dugouts and scoreboard are permanently installed along the outer borders of the sports complex.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
A very well stocked concession stand is located in the plaza directly behind home plate. Its food offerings include hot dogs, hot pretzels and nachos (all $2); popcorn, chips, hot drinks and candy (all $1) and an assortment of drinks priced at $2. The stand is well staffed and there is usually no line.
A Canisius baseball game is a community event, as the turnout draws from the surrounding neighborhoods, teachers, students and alumni. Because of its close proximity to the Buffalo Business District and the rail station across the street, it is not unusual to see a large number of alums in attendance at the games. The design of the field is filled with bright graphics in the yellow and blue colors of the school, adding to the festive mood. The athletic department also is very fan oriented, as they have an onsite merchandise store in addition to a well stocked concession stand, all located where you will not miss any game action.
The setting for the main campus is a mixed bag of business and residential neighborhoods within the downtown Buffalo Business District. The campus is several blocks long fronting Main Street, with the Demske Sports facility at the south end of campus. Across Main Street from the campus is the very famous Forest Hills Cemetery, the last resting place for many of Buffalo's leading citizens. One of Buffalo's most famous restaurant/bars, the Anchor Bar, the originator of Buffalo Hot Wings is just a few blocks south of the campus on Main Street. The Buffalo Metro Rail System has two stations on campus, allowing easy access to many of Buffalo's best attractions.
The Golden Griffins have a boisterous fan following that fills up the bleachers, the plaza behind home plate and other nooks and crannies around the uniquely designed Demske Sports Complex. They proudly wear the blue and yellow colors of the school, and are not afraid to make their opinions of the umpires' calls known. The positioning of the baseball infield in one corner of the field layout truly brings the fans as close to the action as possible, so there is not a bad seat in the house. Two sets of bleacher seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Other seating options include picnic tables, as well as park benches directly behind the backstop.
Due to its urban location, Canisius and the Demske complex rate high for accessibility. It is serviced by the Delevan/Canisius station on the Buffalo Metro Rail System and by bus service provided by Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. All Canisius students receive an all-zone Metro Pass, which allows them to access hospitals, restaurants, sporting events and all the nightlife Buffalo has to offer. Free parking is available for cars in a lot immediately adjacent to the field. As a result, many students do not bring their cars to school, which greatly reduces traffic and parking issues on campus. For those coming in from out of town for a game, the Buffalo International Airport is less than 10 miles away.
There is no admission charge or parking fee for attending a Canisius baseball game, which is a real rarity in an urban setting. Throw in a well-run concession stand with reasonable prices, immediate access to the public transit rail system and a team that has been very successful in recent years, and you get an excellent return on your investment.
Canisius definitely deserves one point simply for its innovative design of its sports complex. Additional extras include its close proximity to the Buffalo theatre district, as well as some of the best restaurants in town, all made very accessible by light rail.
For a good look at Canisius' facility and their program, check out this video from 2012-13:
Member Review by mancow55 on Apr 18, 2015
An odd field, but a great team, and a great atmosphere with passionate fans. There is a great return on investment, totally worth a watch
1047 Main St
Buffalo, NY 14209
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