Sports in Buffalo


Inside of New Era Field, home of the Buffalo Bills
Division I football played at the University at Buffalo

Buffalo, New York and Western New York are home to two major league sports teams. The Buffalo Sabres (hockey) play in the City of Buffalo. The Buffalo Bills (football) play in the suburb of Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo is also home to several minor sports teams including the Buffalo Bisons (baseball), Buffalo Bandits (indoor lacrosse) and FC Buffalo (soccer). Several Buffalo-area colleges and universities are active in college athletics. The State University of New York at Buffalo play division I FBS football as well as other sports in Buffalo and the suburb of Amherst, New York.

Sports are a major part of the city's culture. In recent decades Buffalo based teams have become known for crushing, and sometimes controversial, defeats. "Wide Right", "No Goal" and the Music City Miracle have come to define the suffering of Buffalo Sports fans. In February 2012 Forbes listed Buffalo #4 on its list of "Most Miserable Sports Cities."[1] The only time the city of Buffalo has won major league sports championships was in 1964 and 1965 when the Bills won back to back American Football League titles.

Buffalo has received franchises in three major sports leagues, starting with the Buffalo Bills who began play in the inaugural 1960 American Football League season and eventually joined the National Football League in 1970 as part of the NFL-AFL merger. That same year, the Buffalo Braves joined the National Basketball Association, and the Buffalo Sabres joined the National Hockey League as expansion franchises. However, the Braves struggled financially and were relocated in 1978 to California and became the Clippers. That caused a perception that Western New York cannot economically support three major sports franchises. The Bills' decision to play one home game a year in nearby Toronto in 2008 in order to expand revenue has bolstered that perception further.

Buffalo last hosted Major League Baseball in 1915 with the Federal League's Buffalo Blues. Currently the highest level of professional baseball in the greater Buffalo region is the Buffalo Bisons, a AAA International League franchise.[citation needed]

Current teams

Sport League Club Founded Venue Titles Championship years
Football NFL Buffalo Bills 1960 New Era Field[2] 2 1964*, 1965*
Hockey NHL Buffalo Sabres 1970 KeyBank Center 0
College Football NCAA Buffalo Bulls 1894 University at Buffalo Stadium 1 2008
College Basketball NCAA Buffalo Bulls 1915 Alumni Arena 4 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019
College Basketball NCAA Canisius Golden Griffins 1903 Koessler Athletic Center 1 1996
College Basketball NCAA Niagara Purple Eagles 1905 Gallagher Center 2 2005, 2007
College Hockey AHA Canisius Golden Griffins 1980 LECOM Harborcenter 1 2013
College Hockey AHA Niagara Purple Eagles 1996 Dwyer Arena 3 2000**, 2004**, 2008**
Baseball IL Buffalo Bisons 1979† Sahlen Field 3 1997, 1998, 2004
Lacrosse NLL Buffalo Bandits 1992 KeyBank Center 4 1992, 1993, 1996, 2008
Women's Hockey NWHL Buffalo Beauts 2015 Northtown Center 1 2017
Soccer NPSL FC Buffalo 2009 All-High Stadium 0
Basketball PBL Buffalo Blaze 2020 TBD

* American Football League (AFL) championships were earned prior to the NFL merging with the AFL in 1970.

** College Hockey America (CHA) men's hockey championships were earned prior to the league's discontinuation of its men's program in 2010.
† Date refers to current incarnation; Buffalo Bisons previously operated from the 1870s until 1970 and the current Bisons count this team as part of their history.

Buffalo Bulls championships are Mid-American Conference championships which the University at Buffalo joined in 1998.

Notes and references

  1. ^ Van Riper, Tom. "America's Most Miserable Sports Cities". Forbes. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
  2. ^ Besecker, Aaron (August 18, 2016). "It's official: The Ralph will be called New Era Field". The Buffalo News. Archived from the original on August 23, 2016. Retrieved August 24, 2016.