Buffalo Pipe Dream: Pucks and Conventions

Early in the summer – when the threat of a lockout was evident but not looming – I took the time to throw out a few big picture ideas for Buffalo. These ideas ranged from re-working the Cobblestone District to finding a place for a state-of-the-art aquarium on the Outer Harbor.

Swap out those graphics for ones promoting an OHL contest and you’ve got yourself a winner.

Now that the HARBORcenter project is well underway, the Junior Sabres and Canisius DI teams will have a new home with seating for 2,000 fans. I like to think that my original pipe dream story had something to do with this, but I’m not that naïve.

One piece of common knowledge is the Buffalo’s Convention Center is undersized, dated and incapable of attracting larger events that hit cities like Pittsburgh. The recent waterfront Bills stadium proposal had a new convention center worked into the plans and such a project would be interesting to see. However, I don’t think that a new convention center needs to accompany a Bills stadium project.

Certainly there are plenty of power brokers and decision makers in WNY who are well aware of the glaring need to upgrade the current Convention Center. An updated and modern convention center would help raise the overall profile and perception of the region. Finding a location and project to build a new Convention Center should be high on the priority list of many throughout Buffalo. Continue reading