BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Public records show that Rich Baseball Operations, the organization that runs the Buffalo Bisons, is looking for state money.
According to documents filed with the New York State Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government, the organization is seeking “funding for Sahlen Field,” with Masiello, Martucci & Associates listed as the principal lobbyist.
Filings with the commission show Rich Baseball Operations as a client of the lobbying firm in years past, as well. Previous and current contracts between the firm and Rich Products Corporation dated July 2023 and February 2022 show agreements for Rich Baseball Operations to pay Masiello, Martucci & Associates monthly installments of $2,500 so that they can help get public funding that would go toward renovations of the Bisons’ home.
Anthony Masiello and Victor Martucci, the individual lobbyists listed by the ethics and lobbying commission, each have a history in politics. Masiello served on the Buffalo Common Council before becoming a state senator and then later, a three-term mayor of Buffalo.
Martucci’s resume includes work in the Reagan-Bush re-election campaign and the Erie County Executive’s office in the 1980s, and the Peace Bridge Authority near the turn of the century.
According to a spokesperson for Governor Kathy Hochul, no financial commitment has been made to the Bisons.
“Governor Hochul is committed to creating jobs and economic opportunity across every region of New York, and we carefully review all proposals to ensure they are a good deal for New Yorkers,” the spokesperson said.
At the start of September, an accidental fire broke out at Sahlen Field, causing an estimated $600,000 in damage. It’s not clear if any of the money being sought pertains to that, but News 4 has reached out to the Bisons for details, including any upgrades the organization could be looking to make. We will provide that information when it becomes available.