“The Joe” home to Vikings and Capital Region baseball

Skylar Blankenship
Sports Editor

In addition to The Vikings Joe Bruno Stadium, The Valleycats also utilize the stadium during the summer. Photo by: Michael Schaefer

In addition to The Vikings Joe Bruno Stadium, The Valleycats also utilize the stadium during the summer.

Joe Bruno Stadium, nicknamed “The Joe,” serves as home for two baseball teams in the Capital Region community: the Vikings and ValleyCats.

The Hudson Valley Vikings compete in region III of the NJCAA and in the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference. While the Tri-City ValleyCats are a Class A team for the Houston Astros in the New-York Penn League in the majors.

Each summer, June through September, the Tri-City ValleyCats lease the stadium from Hudson Valley to play its 38 home games. The Vikings use it during their baseball season from March to May.

“The athletic department has a great working relationship with the ValleyCats,” said Justin Hoyt, interim director of athletics.

Hoyt also stated that “The Joe” is a helpful recruiting tool for the college. Events like Friday Night Lights, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society where high school teams visit and compete in double headers, give prospective students a chance to learn about the Vikings, see the facilities and meet the coaches.

For both a good cause and raising Hudson Valley’s profile, this year the Vikings and ValleyCats will be working together on the upcoming Special Olympics New York Summer Games.

The stadium was named after Joseph L. Bruno, a previous New York State Senate Majority Leader who secured the funds for its construction in the spring of 2001.

$14 million in additional funding added 4,500 seats, ten luxury suites and a covered picnic pavilion were later added to “The Joe” following its first game on April 6, 2002. Last year its 15th anniversary was celebrated.

Spectators can bring their families to not only watch the game, but also see a fireworks show that follows some games. “The Joe” has a kids play area, gift shop and fans can have their picture taken with Southpaw, the team mascot during the WildCat’s season.

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