Guest Editorial by Sahlen Packing Co.
Sahlen Packing Co. is honored to have its name on what first was called Pilot Field in downtown Buffalo, New York, just minutes away from our home on Howard Street. Few people from the Sahlen family would have guessed – when we agreed to a 10-year naming rights agreement nearly 30 years after Sahlen Field opened – that our name would be associated to this extent with that of a Major League Baseball team's home. But if 2020 has taught us anything, it's that anything is possible.
Sahlen Packing Company was founded by Joseph Sahlen in 1869. Since then, the Sahlen family has seen growth in product offerings – whether it's our classic smokehouse pork a-beef hot dog, carved-off-the-bone deli ham and turkey, or traditional Italian and Polish sausage links – and distribution. Our hot dogs are a Western New York staple, craved across the country by expats and those who get introduced to our premium food products.
Our family welcomes the Toronto Blue Jays players, coaches, staff, and Rogers Communications team members all with open arms to Sahlen Field. And although they can't visit our ballpark and cheer on their Jays in person, we want to assure all Toronto Blue Jays fans that your team is in good hands. Our facilities will feel as close to home as possible thanks in large part to another generational family business, Rich Products, and all the hard-working people in our WNY community. Although we have little to do with the operations and logistics of how the team uses the ballpark that bears our name, we're pleased and honored that Sahlen Field is now the home of the Toronto Blue Jays for this season.
Sports have always been near and dear to our hearts. Sahlen has long supported several professional and amateur teams, organizations, and athletic events across the state of New York and around the country. We currently sponsor the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International as well as own our own auto racing team. Sahlen owned, operated and sponsored the Western New York Flash – one of the most storied professional women's soccer franchises in the world – from 2008-16. We are also the official hot dog of the minor league baseball team Charlotte Knights, Watkins Glen International, the Florida Panthers and – of course – the Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliate Buffalo Bisons.
It has also been our mission, as a five-generation family-owned company, to give back and encourage youth participation and development in sports. As such, we own Sahlen's Sports Park in Elma – a 200,000 square-foot, multisport indoor facility, which is soon to be complemented by a new investment – a state-of-the-art outdoor soccer facility and private youth soccer academy.
Our over 150-year-old company is also committed to several charity organizations throughout our hometown of Buffalo and Western New York, including the Ride for Roswell, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, March of Dimes, Tour de Cure, Variety Club and JDRF.
We wish the Toronto Blue Jays the best of luck in this abbreviated 2020 MLB season. We'll be rooting for them, as they were our own hometown team.
For further information on Sahlen Packing Co., please visit our website: www.sahlen.com.