Starting Thursday, the eyes of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference will be concentrated on Joseph L. Bruno Stadium, in Troy.

The league's baseball tournament starts with defending champion, Manhattan, taking on Rider, at 3 p.m. The second game of the day pits Canisius against Fairfield.

“We hope that they have a great experience here," said Hudson Valley Community College president Drew Matonak. "I know that they are going to love the stadium. I know that this area is very receptive to the teams.”

Hudson Valley is teaming up with Siena College and the Tri-City ValleyCats to put on a first-class event this weekend. The double-elimination tournament concludes on Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon.

“The ValleyCats are just excited to have a hand in it," said ValleyCats Media Relations/Production Manager Chris Chenes. “Anytime we have the chance to showcase this facility is a good thing.”

The ValleyCats don't take over operating control of The Joe until June 1, but they will help give the tournament a minor league atmosphere.

“It also helps us prepare for Opening Day," said Chenes. Tri-City opens the home portion of the 2012 season on June 20, when they host the Vermont Lake Monsters.

The survivor of the four-team field will advance to the 64-team NCAA tournament.

For fans, there will be on-field promotions, open concessions and a huge fireworks display on Friday evening after the second game.

This is a busy time for the stadium. This past Saturday was Hudson Valley's commencement on the field. This weekend is the MAAC tournament and next week, the stadium will host the Section II baseball championships.

“At this time of the season, there is a lot of activity at Joe Bruno Stadium," Matonak said.


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